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A New Orleans-Style Send-Off for Katrina and Rita

New Orleans residents stage a mock jazz funeral procession for hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans' French Quarter.
Mandalit del Barco, NPR
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New Orleans residents stage a mock jazz funeral procession for hurricanes Katrina and Rita in New Orleans' French Quarter.

Residents of the French Quarter stage a classic New Orleans funeral parade for a visitor they're glad has departed: Hurricane Katrina.

"People feel bad about losing things and loved ones," says New Orleans native Ray Kern. "But part of spirit of New Orleans tradition is we have a period of mourning and then you cut it loose... cut the spirit loose."

Reveler Ian McNulty said the parade was badly needed to relieve the drudgery of cleaning up the city. "The correct setting for a New Orleanian is to be out in the sun wearing ridiculous clothing, drinking and having fun, and carousing with strangers and loved ones -- not scrubbing mold out of the basement of your house," he says.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

As an arts correspondent based at NPR West, Mandalit del Barco reports and produces stories about film, television, music, visual arts, dance and other topics. Over the years, she has also covered everything from street gangs to Hollywood, police and prisons, marijuana, immigration, race relations, natural disasters, Latino arts and urban street culture (including hip hop dance, music, and art). Every year, she covers the Oscars and the Grammy awards for NPR, as well as the Sundance Film Festival and other events. Her news reports, feature stories and photos, filed from Los Angeles and abroad, can be heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, Alt.latino, and npr.org.