Heralded by police sirens and bagpipes, the 2016 Krewe of Turtles parade will crawl through the streets of the French Quarter on Saturday (March 12) morning, heading for Brennan’s restaurant at 417 Royal St.
The first turtle parade took place this time last year to ceremonially mark the return of 10 turtle mascots to the fountain in the historic restaurant’s courtyard. The longtime residents of the fountain, who are named after sauces such as Bechamel, Hollandaise, Cocktail, etc., had been displaced for 18 months during a courtyard renovation.
The reptiles were exiled from the courtyard fountain during Brennan’s recent renovation but were brought back in style.
The aquatic creatures will be borne through the Vieux Carre on wagons decorated by Brennan’s staff members in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Note: Though St. Patrick is said to have chased the snakes from Ireland, there’s no evidence he had any quarrel with other reptiles.
This year, Avery Kyle, the 9-year-old, Baton Rouge-born, pig-tailed, runner-up on FOX’s TV cooking competition « MasterChef Junior, » will serve as Junior Marshal beside the Grand Marshal, Brennan’s executive chef Haley Bittermann. Also look for the « dazzling » new Queen’s float.
Though Brennan’s is renowned for its turtle soup, the parade is not a Creole cuisine version of the « To Serve Man » episode of « Twilight Zone » — you know the one, where the gourmet aliens fatten up the earthlings on a flying saucer ride to their planet. The pet turtles are destined for the courtyard, not the kitchen.
Turtle soup has always been a classic New Orleans dish.
In fact, this year, the turtles are to receive an official pardon from Louisiana Supreme Court’s Justice Marcus Clark and a blessing from Monsignor Christopher H. Nalty of St. Stephen Catholic Church. The pardoning, blessing and a Champagne sabering will take place during a courtyard reception which includes complimentary refreshments and Grasshopper cocktails.
Everyone is invited to parade with the turtles. The procession begins at 11 a.m. at 550 Bienville St. at the corner of Chartres Street. It sets out on Chartres Street toward Jackson Square for four blocks. At St. Peter Street, the parade turns left for one block. At Royal Street, it turns left again, arriving at the big pink restaurant at roughly 11:30 a.m.
For more information visit the Brennan’s website.