This is a feel good piece and I hope those reading it will realize the fun in it!
Louisiana officials are hoping to lure tourists to the state by participating in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time ever. They have entered a giant, 60-foot alligator float in the parade that rolls through the streets of New York City, state officials said Tuesday. The Louisiana Office of Tourism is handling the project, according to a joint statement with Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and Macy’s. They didn’t say how much the state is spending to participate. They also didn’t say who built the float or how much it cost to make. The goal, Nungesser said, is to inspire spectators along the route and watching on television to visit Louisiana, “where every day is a celebration of life, and we treat you like family,” he said.nola.com
This is not a menacing alligator but rather a Celebration Gator. The name matters if you want people to visit. Will they look for this gator in the swamps?
The “Celebration Gator” is “inspired by all facets of Louisiana’s culture and thriving tourist appeal,” tourism officials said. An artist rendering shows a large gator as the base of the float. On top, there are buildings that showcase a “blend of the New Orleans French Quarter architecture with heavy influences of Spanish colonial rule and Creole fashion.” At the very top, there’s a stage, where parade floats usually have special guests or musical performers. Officials haven’t said who will ride on the Louisiana float. The buildings in the rendering are bright – orange, pink, yellow, aqua – and have shutters and balconies. There are trees draped in Mardi Gras beads and Spanish moss, along with a street light and an “Orleans” street sign. There’s a smokestack at the back of the buildings and a bright red water wheel underneath, giving the impression of a riverboat riding on a gator. Fleur de lis run the length of the gator’s tail, and “Louisiana” is written prominently on the sides of the gator. The float appears to have confetti cannons incorporated as well.
The gator I like but those walking with the float will be wearing nothing I would wear!
The float celebrates the “state’s unique fusion of European, Caribbean, African and Native American cultures,” officials said in the announcement. Float participants will be dressed in “lavish baby gator costumes,” state officials said, and will be accompanied by stilt walkers. Unlike in Mardi Gras parades, riders in the Thanksgiving Day parade usually don’t throw anything to spectators. Officials didn’t say what the plans are as far as throws for the Louisiana float. “When it comes to parading, there is one thing Louisiana knows how to do and that’s throwing a party on wheels aboard the biggest float we can build,” Nungesser said. The 95th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs on NBC on Thursday, November 25, from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Bacchus Parade in 1986 introduced the first alligator to a parade. This will be during the day and not at night so the appearances will be different.
The state already has a famous alligator float – the Bacchagator, which was introduced in the 1986 Bacchus parade in New Orleans. It’s 105 feet long and split into three parts. It can accommodate 86 riders, according to the Bacchus website. The riders in previous years have worn big alligator hats during the parade. Kern Studios in New Orleans made the Bacchagator, which lights up at night and has a moving head.
Will it draw people here or do we get all that want to come? Tourism hopes for more.