METAIRIE, LA. - Carnival is usually a celebratory time for krewes, however, this year for one it is bittersweet. In Jefferson Parish, the Corps de Napoleon is hanging up their beads after nearly four decades.
Carnival has always been something special for Nicole Cosse, who for 38 years watched her father, Irvy Cosse Jr., create something special with the Corps de Napoleon. In 1980, Irvy brought the krewe to Jefferson Parish.
"When my father was young, he grew up in the 9th Ward, and he didn't have a lot of money and the majority of parades was for the white male elites, which he was not," Cosse said. "When dad decided to move from Orleans to Jefferson Parish, he wanted a more family-oriented setting. He also decided that with Louisiana having such a strong French heritage, rather than pay homage to Greek and Roman Gods. He'd do something with our French heritage and that's why he went with the Corps of Napoleon."
Their annual parade was one everyone could enjoy. One that each year, celebrated family and Louisiana's past.
"For me, I feel it promotes community," one of Cosse's two sons said. "You feel the heritage and the history of New Orleans and you feel proud."
This year though will be different.
"January 12th, my father passed," Cosse said.
Cosse also says with new parade regulations and other difficulties, this year will be their last year rolling in Jefferson Parish.
"I can't believe he missed the last one," Cosse said.
"The family is great, the Krewe was great. We had a lot of fun," said Ronald Cheramie Sr.
Ronald has been involved for 30 years with the krewe, knowing it could possibly be his last without his friend by his side, it's heartbreaking for him.
"I was wishing he'd be with us to ride," he said. "It's just hard."
"He loved his member, the excitement and I think he loved that chaos," Cosse said. "I'll always remember him with those black boots and hat."
With 25 floats this year's parade, they say, will be one of honor.
"I just want to make him proud and keep continuing what he worked so hard to build," said one of her sons.
As the krewe gets ready to roll Sunday, they know their captain will be there, leading them on in spirit.
"Just that it was my father's passion," Cosse said. "He brought the greatest free show to the streets of Jefferson Parish for 38 years and how much we appreciate as a family having to get that experience."
The krewe is scheduled to roll Sunday, but may be moved up due to weather. Check back with Eyewitness News for the latest.