Each Wearin’ of the Green krewe has its own traditions and personality

Samantha Wickard has never watched the Wearin’ of the Green Parade from the crowd. Riding on the floats is more her style.

After hitching rides on floats with other krewes, Wickard decided to start her own. She hasn’t looked back since.

“I don’t feel like I could be in the crowd now,” she says. “Put me on a float.’”

Wickard and her friends found their niche with a theme based on their favorite wrestler, Ric Flair. The krewe is now dubbed Flairin’ of the Green and rides in a float covered in cutouts of the wrestler.

The krewe’s first year, getting organized and keeping riders cohesively on-theme was tricky. Most of the decorations were stuck onto the float the morning of. The krewe has since adjusted, and it now enforces a costume requirement.

“The first year some people dressed up as different things,” she says. “Now, we’re really strict. You get your wig, your robe and your aviators, or you don’t come on.”

Courtesy Party Time

But costumes and themes aren’t required for every krewe. For some, it’s about a fun day with family, friends and colleagues. For others, it’s about honoring Irish heritage.

Monty Travis’ krewe reflects his family’s business, Party Time. Its float is lined with a custom banner printed at the locally owned shop. Riders are decked out in green accessories plucked from the store’s aisles on parade morning.

“We have the perfect business for a fun parade,” he says.

Thanks to their store’s stash of parade throws, Travis and his krewe have no shortage of things to toss to the crowd. They even pass out Party Time-branded items like Frisbees, squishy footballs and 20-ounce stadium cups.

Courtesy Baton Rouge Irish Club

A parade mainstay since 2005, the Baton Rouge Irish Club is a nonprofit dedicated to celebrating Irish culture, history and art at events throughout the year—so of course it had to ride in the parade. It uses its signature button throws and yearly banner designs as float decorations. Phil Brady’s Bar has been a longtime supporter of the club, so the float gets delivered there a week before parade day to ensure it looks ready to roll, says club president Frances Dodson.

“Whatever pins we throw, we will have 5-foot-by-5-foot banners (with the same design),” she says. “Every year there’s a different banner, and we just line them up (on the float). It’s nostalgic.”

Flairin’ of the Green gets nostalgic over the throws it launches into the crowd, too. When the wrestling ring of a float passes by, crowds can catch stickers, VIP lanyards and other itemsembossed with images of Ric Flair from his heyday. Wickard says she’s even been to LSU tailgates months later and spotted a few of the krewe’s Koozies holding on to drinks—it’s a way for attendees to remember these notable krewes until they roll again.

This article was originally published in the March 2024 issue of 225 magazine.