The University of New Orleans brought carnival to the lakefront this week when the Krewe of UNO rolled through campus with the theme “Let the Good Times Roll.”
Marching bands from Brother Martin High School and Sophie B. Wright Charter School provided the soundtrack as UNO students, faculty and staff donned masks and costumes, tossed beads and toy brains, rode atop horses and boats, golf carts and homemade floats in a display that drew celebratory onlookers to curbs and walkways and ended with a giant king cake fest in the heart of campus.
Brett Kemker, dean of students and the event’s key organizer, said he was incredibly proud of the contributions and enthusiasm the University’s colleges and departments brought to the Feb. 21 event. With more than 40 parade entries, he said, and vibrant contributions from the Greek community and Privateer athletics as well as the festive addition of Drago’s firetruck, the parade ended up more than half the length of the route.
“We may need a bigger route next year!” he said.
The parade kicked off at the University Center following the unveiling of the New Orleans Privateer’s new mascot, Capt. Bruno, a brawny sword-brandishing privateer clad in Privateer blue. Capt. Bruno climbed aboard a ship-themed float and waved to those gathered.
Though the day started off with rain and clouds, the sun broke through mid-morning and the procession went on under clear blue skies. In addition to drawing the campus community and its neighbors, many of the middle and high school students who were visiting UNO for its National Engineering Week celebration also participated as enthusiastic parade onlookers, lunging for beads with the best of them.
“It just feels right to celebrate New Orleans’ favorite tradition at its favorite institution,” Kemker said. “The University community pulled together to made it a wonderful success.”