By Geraldine Wyckoff
The Louisiana Weekly
Remembering Loved OnesOften, the simplest gestures, the little touches best express the love, joy and respect that people have for each other. In New Orleans, like no other place in the United States, we adhere to the tradition of remembering those who’ve passed on November 1, All Saints Day. People here tend to the graves of their loved ones by bringing flowers, perhaps a broom and a shovel and maybe even a picnic basket to the area’s cemeteries. They make sure that their families’ and friends’ final resting places remain in good repair.Twelve years ago, a new tradition was born. The Backstreet Cultural Museum presented its first annual All Saints Day Tribute Parade, a small though caring affair that honors musicians, Mardi Gras Indians and all those involved with the culture who died throughout the year. Often, one close to the heart person is paid special tribute with photographs and memorabilia associated with their life placed on top of a simple, wooden, horse drawn wagon that is the centerpiece of the parade.This year, Collins “Coach” Lewis, who sewed for the Fi-Yi-Yi Mardi Gras Indian gang and was active in numerous aspects of the Black street traditions and died on August 5, 2011, will hold that position of honor.As is tradition, the parade, led by the Treme Brass Band, will leave from the D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home, 1716 N. Claiborne Avenue at 3 p.m.
Read more about the All Saints Day Tribute Parade (including the full route) on The Louisiana Weekly website