A parade company in Plaquemine is behind the floats in many Baton Rouge parades

Baton Rouge parades are so synonymous with floats, the normal paradegoer probably doesn’t think much about them as they dive after beads.

But those towering, decorative floats are always on the minds of the team at Comogo Floats LLC in Plaquemine. Even if you haven’t heard of the company, you’ve surely seen its floats. In addition to riding in the Krewe of Comogo parade, the company rents out its floats to the krewes of Oshun, Artemis and Orion, not to mention the annual Wearin’ of the Green parade.

The entire operation works out of a set of warehouses in downtown Plaquemine. In 225‘s newest episode of Between the Lines, we tour the maze-like warehouses. There, Comogo decorates the floats by hand, bringing in artists from around the state to help. Some of the structures resemble pop-culture characters or local celebrities. The floats range anywhere from a full-sized streetcar to larger-than-life statues. Every float is equipped with colorful LED lights, so it’s ready for day and night parades alike.

Earl and Ralph Comeaux start construction on new floats almost immediately after Mardi Gras day.

It all started in the 1990s with Brenda Comeaux’s dream to start a downtown Plaquemine night parade. But her chance to make a parade fell short in 2009, when she died from cancer. That’s when the city came together and made a parade in her honor, the Krewe of Comogo. Comeaux’s brothers were not involved at first, but once they got the invitation to help, they were all in.

“‘If we’re going to do this, let’s get a parade going, let’s do what she wanted to do,’“ Earl Comeaux remembers thinking. “So we got enough members, and we got a connection in New Orleans and we rented some floats.”

Not long after the Comeaux brothers joined the operation, they decided they needed to make their own floats. Comogo Floats LLC was born, with Earl and Ralph as managing partners, designing floats and renting them out. Darrel Comeaux manages Brenda’s night parade.

The 11-foot-tall float that leads the Krewe of Comogo is the second attempt at Brenda’s likeness.

Now, the parade is brightly led by an 11-foot-tall statue of Brenda, with a sign reading “In loving memory of Brenda Comeaux.“ This year, the Krewe of Comogo parade is scheduled to roll on Lundi Gras, Monday, Feb. 12. Earl and his brothers intend to run the show for a good while longer.

“I would like to do it at least 10 more years myself, and hopefully somebody in my family will take it over,“ Earl says. “My daughter’s been involved a lot; she’s helping out and learning. Hopefully, my youngest son or my daughter or one of my grandkids will pick it up.”

For an inside look, watch 225‘s newest episode of Between the Lines.