Krewe of Omega may roll for last time

Faced with a shortage of members, the 29th Krewe of Omega Mardi Gras parade may be their last.  

krewe member throws

Krewe of Omega have been spreading
Fat Tuesday joy and shenanigans straight
from New Orleans to neighboring Louisiana
parishes since their establishment in 1986. 

The Lion’s Roar / File Photo

The parade will feature 10 professional floats, cars, jeeps and local floats all united under a horror movie theme. This year the krewe is offering a discounted price of $100 for anyone who wishes to ride in the parade. After a daylong trek through neighboring parishes, the parade will roll through Hammond on Friday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. 

“The Krewe of Omega brings a real New Orleans type parade to the Hammond area,” said Joyce Smith, captain of the Krewe of Omega. “Our members are very generous with throws, and we have a wonderful group of people.  There is nothing like riding in a parade and throwing to the children and adults.”

Smith believes the shortage of membership stems primarily from a lack of awareness, pricey membership fees and general life interferences, such as familial responsibilities or a lack of time.

Attempting to increase membership, the krewe has been expanding their communication efforts. They worked with WWL TV to air a news segment, and The Daily Star has run an editorial and several stories highlighting the krewe and promoting awareness. 

“We sent a letter of request to all members of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce asking them to sponsor a member or a band,” said Smith. “We are talking to as many people as possible and working on Facebook.”

The Krewe of Omega is a non-profit social organization, initiated in 1986 by the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity of Southeastern. The normal membership dues are $325 per person or $550 per couple. 

According to their website, “The Krewe of Omega’s exclusive purpose is to advance business and commercial interests to Tangipahoa Parish and the surrounding areas by encouraging, fostering and promoting tourism in this area.”

Membership perks includes invitations to the annual parade and ball as well as several other social events held throughout the year. 

“We usually have a gathering at Wise Guys on University (Avenue)where we bring hot dogs or hamburgers and just have a fun get together each month that we do not have something else,” said Smith.

Though costumes are provided, members are responsible to supply beads or other items they wish to throw. 

“A lot of people don’t realize that anyone can join and that there are year-round activities,” said Soline Holmes, 29th Krewe of Omega Queen. “We’ve 

been partying with the krewe now at least since August.” 

Though Soline and her husband Jim Holmes, 29th Krewe of Omega King, are new to the krewe, they believe they have made a lifelong commitment. 

“We’re just very honored and excited to be representing the krewe and representing Hammond,” said Soline Holmes. “It’s a lot of fun. There are some really great people that we’ve gotten to know. You make lifelong friends and lifelong memories.”

For more information on membership, visit their website at www.kreweofomega.com.