Bigger, Better Than Ever: Krewe of Comogo dazzles thousands in Plaquemine

Staff Report

The tradition that began 10 years ago continued to grow leaps and bounds with floats and music when the Krewe of Comogo Parade rolled through Plaquemine Sunday night.

Thousands of paradegoers lined the streets in a procession that began near the City of Plaquemine Community Center and stretched to Belleview Road at the Carl F. Grant Civic Center.

Pat Shingleton, the longtime WBRZ weathercaster who retired in 2021, served as grand marshal for the 2023 Krewe of Comogo Parade. Shown at the front of the float are his son, WBRZ anchor Michael Shingleton, and Mabyn Shingleton, wife of the longtime weathercaster.

The procession featured 26 floats, including one that featured Grand Marshal Pat Shingleton. He is best known for his 42 years as a TV weathercaster – likely the longest of any in Louisiana broadcasting – that started with two years at WAFB and a 40-year-run at WBRZ that ended in 2021. Shingleton has also been involved in numerous charity projects over the years.

2022 Evangeline Anna Catherine Bradford, daughter of Jerry and Amy Bradford of Plaquemine, also greeted paradegoers. The St. John High School senior, who recently represented Iberville Parish in the Washington D.C. Mardi Gras festivities.

2022 Evangeline Anna Catherine Bradford tosses keepsakes to the crowd in the 2023 Krewe of Comogo Parade. She made her appearance not long after her return from Washington D.C., where she represented Iberville Parish during Mardi Gras festivities in the nation’s capital.

She is a member of the National Beta Club, the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Campus Ministry and the Cheer Squad. Anna Catherine plans to attend LSU.

In the tradition of the parade becoming a bigger event every year, the event featured one of the nation’s most celebrated collegiate bands.

The prestigious Southern University Marching Band, known as “The Human Jukebox,” marched the streets of Plaquemine for the event. Their appearance with sponsored by District Attorney Tony Clayton, a graduate of Southern University.

The nationally renown Southern University Marching Band, known as “The Human Jukebox,” kicked off festivities in the 2023 Krewe of Comogo Parade. Tony Clayton and Associates Law Firm sponsored the  performance.

"This was the best parade I have ever attended," Clayton said. "The ambiance, the excitement, the festive atmosphere, the people, the culture and the overall coming together of our westside communities was just awesome. I felt like I didn't want the night to ever end."

Also bringing music to the event was “After 8,” which performed rock and R&B tunes throughout the procession.

The Krewe of Comogo began in 2011 when Chris Daigle, along with Ralph and Edward Earl Comeaux, organized the first nighttime parade that rolled in 2013.

“What people don’t know is that we actually rolled out our first float in 2012 when we entered it in the Addis Parade,” Daigle, the krewe president, said.

Comeaux Brothers Construction – owned by Edward Earl Comeaux – designed 13 double-decker floats that made their debut in the 2015 parade.

This year’s event included several new floats in the mix.

The parade is held in honor of their sister, Brenda Comeaux, who died from cancer at the age of 54 in 2009. She had played an active role in the design of costumes for Mardi Gras ball krewes in Plaquemine. Her dream had been to establish an evening parade in Plaquemine.

A float with a sculpture of Brenda Comeaux highlights the parade.

The name “Comogo” was derived from the Comogo Room, an event facility Comeaux’s parents built in the 1960s. Its namesake was derived from a combination of the parents last names – Comeaux and Gauthreaux.

Perhaps the biggest indication of the parade’s appeal to the area came in the aftermath.

Traffic lined streets throughout much of the city, including many who took Enterprise Boulevard in hopes of a quicker ride outside the city. Even with the “shortcut,” traffic remained heavy along La. 1 as far as Intracoastal Bridge in Port Allen.