Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Plaquemine's Parish Orange Ball: A grand tradition

It isn't all cattle yards and pig barns for the festival queens. The Orange Ball is held in a country club outside New Orleans, but it wasn't always that way. The ball's celebrants all hail from Plaquemines Parish, which was almost completely flooded during Katrina, as all the ring levees gave way. Buras, the original hometown of the festival, was wiped out: its water tower collapsed into itself, the civic center was smashed, and homes were leveled. But the tradition of the Orange Festival is so important that the community, while rebuilding and heartsick with loss, held the festival anyway, but in Belle Chasse, 50 miles away (though still in the same parish). 107 days after Katrina, they proved they wouldn’t let one storm change history. Nights like this one are proof of their spirit.

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