September 20, 2017

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Lemonade Parade: We’re Back

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By McKenzie Lee

The Lemonade Parade is a small parade that parades within a larger parade, Box of Wine, on the Sunday before Mardi Gras each year. Box of Wine is a walking parade that moves down the street of St. Charles Avenue.  Those parading with Box of Wine traditionally carry a box of wine and pour wine into the cups, and sometimes mouths, of those lining the parade route.  Four years, the Lemonade Parade was created.  This parade was birthed out of an awareness that kids on the Box of Wine route were not getting anything.

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The first year, only three people joined the Lemonade Parade.  Each of the three original members of the Lemonade Parade wore hot pink and neon yellow outfits.  Over the following couple of years, the Lemonade Parade started to grow and more friends and community members joined.  This past Lemonade Parade, which occurred on Sunday, February 7th, was special because it included a handful of cheerful and energetic children!

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In preparation for the parade, each individual was tasked with purchasing as many boxes of lemonade as possible. Two parade members were responsible for screen printing a Lemonade Parade 2016 image onto cloth.  Everyone then helped cut out the lemons and then attached them all to safety pins.  One couple created a small keg of carbonated lemonade, infused it with the hibiscus flower, and passed it out to children along the route.  Two people built a box to fit inside of a yellow tricycle and decorated with lemon fabric, others worked on creating beautiful costumes for themselves, and others came with their children and filled their wagons with lemonade to pass out.

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As the Box of Wine parade started, Lemonade Parade filed together and prepared to march right behind one of the five bands.  Each individual was encouraged to make sure to pass out screen-printed lemons and a lemonade juice box to each child along the route.  While the kids were drinking lemonade, many of the adults spiked up their lemonade drink.  Other adults grabbed a box of wine and poured themselves a little something. My favorite, of all the options, was the pink-colored, sparkling hibiscus lemonade!

Toward the end of the parade route, a few people started getting tired and requested to sit in the tricycle box!

Overall, this year’s Lemonade Parade was full of joy and laughter.  It was a great time for friends and family to celebrate on the streets of New Orleans!

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