Story and Photos by Zaria Townsend Data News Weekly Contributor
The Krewe of NOMTOC (New Orleans Most Talked of Club) featured the theme of “NOMTOC’s Fantasy Library” this year as it rolled its 26 floats along Holiday Drive and General Meyer Avenue featuring some 600 plus riders, a dozen marching bands and groups across the West Bank.
“A lot of the parades were not open to Black people for a long time, NOMTOC is for the people that look like me,” said Marion Floyd, the leader of the Sesame Street float.
NOMTOC is sponsored by the Jugs Social Aid and Pleasure Club which formed in 1951. The krewe is known for its signature Jug Man dolls and jug banks as its throws. It has grown into a large community service committee in the West Bank, supporting All Saints Catholic Church and many schools to help put on its Annual Carnival Parade. The krewe selects high achieving students in the community to ride in the floats each year.
Many generations over the last 70 years have come out to not only support their parade, a signature event across Mardi Season that is unique for the West Bank, but to immerse themselves in a culture that they’ve built for themselves all those years ago.
This year, the krewe selected as its theme a tribute to literary and popular culture. The krewe’s floats and designs included crowd favorites such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Sesame Street” and “Toy Story.”
Residents and visitors come to see the parade, no matter their ages. Residents shared that NOMTOC is popular on the West Bank because it has proven committed to inclusivity for everyone by making the parade a safe space.
Among the regulars who make NOMTOC a family tradition were the Richardson family. The family of three attended the parade, enjoyed the family atmosphere and took some family photos. Brittney Richardson, her husband Robb Richardson, and their daughter Emerald Richardson are West Bank residents who said they come to the parade annually as part of the long-awaited Mardi Gras festivities.
“Being around people and getting to know them is such a surreal experience,” said daughter Emerald Richardson, as she watched the parade floats go by.