Behind the scenes of Hammond’s Krewe of Omega


Chloe Williams

The Krewe of Omega will be rolling out in Hammond, Louisiana on Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

The Krewe of Omega is a community-oriented organization founded by the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity in 1986. 

Being a part of a Mardi Gras krewe may look simple, but it takes a year’s worth of planning to make the parade what it is.

Captain Leslie McKnight has been a member of the Krewe of Omega for 10 years. She previously held the title of queen before stepping into her role as captain. McKnight describes her role as being like a 365-day job. When one parade rolls, the planning for the next one begins.

“I have to organize everything and do a lot of delegation, it’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work. The Queen and King are my front people while my co-captain and I plan the routes, meet with different officials and check the routes for hanging tree limbs. It’s a lot of tedious little tasks that you just don’t regularly think about,“ McKnight said.

A photo from the Omega Twelfth Night Party, held on Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany. (Courtesy of Phillip Colwart)

Brad and Sarah Hayes are this year’s King and Queen of the Krewe of Omega. They found the krewe through friends before they moved to Hammond.

“We had friends in the krewe, and we were always impressed with how lively and awesome the Krewe of Omega was. Hammond has a great Krewe, a great parade and a fun ball, we had experienced all of that coming over from St.Tammany. So when we moved from Covington to Hammond we joined the Krewe,” Brad said.

When approached to become the king and queen, Brad felt the need to decline the positions because he was newer to the organization.

“When we were asked to be King and Queen I thought, man, we had only been in Hammond for a couple of years, and maybe we should wait our turn, but they were forthright saying these opportunities only come once in a lifetime,” Brad explained.

The king and queen’s role is to be an ambassador for the Krewe. Brad strives to continue to make connections between the Krewe and the community.

“I believe we are to project a good image for the community and the krewe. We were founded by Southeastern students. I feel like we can continue to evolve and grow that relationship with the college. The college and the krewe have a natural fit together so we need to cultivate that relationship,” Brad Hayes said.

While Mardi Gras is a big part of the Krewe of Omega, they also believe in helping the community and building friendships amongst float members. In-between parade seasons float members get together and participate in community service events and social events.

“We do believe in doing a lot of community service. We have done school drives up at the northern part of the parish, we’ve helped with Habitat, building homes, and food drives. We also have our little get-together,” McKnight said.

To kick off the Mardi Gras season in the community the krewe host their Royal Ball and Patrons Party. For non-members wishing to attend the ball, tickets are sold on a first come first serve basis for $63 each and $28 for the Patrons Party.

The Krewe of Omega will be rolling out on Feb. 10 at 6:30 p.m. For more information on the route visit Krewe of Omega.