Hammond Krewe of Omega holds annual Twelfth Night Party, sees record attendance _lowres

Photo provided by Douglas Brown -- Attending the Hammond Krewe of Omega Twelfth Night Party on Dec. 6, from left, are King Omega XXX Don Fellows, Judy Forsberg, and Queen Omega Hayley Taff.

The Hammond Krewe of Omega rang in the Carnival season Dec. 6 with a its annual Twelfth Night Party.

Organizers called the event their most successful in recent memory.

The raucous parading organization filled the Hammond Police Union Hall to capacity with record attendance, marking a dramatic turnaround of the krewe’s fortunes from the same time last year, a news release said.

“This is so incredible,” said krewe member and event organizer Libby Billiot. “We were all, ‘Don’t get your hopes up because it’s a weeknight,’ but wow. Unbelievable.”

The Krewe of Omega, prior to this year, saw a decline in membership, and feared that the organization would go under. Those fears are no more, said krewe Captain Joyce Smith.

“We are back, we are bigger than ever, and on Jan. 29, we are going to show Tangipahoa and all of south Louisiana just how Hammond does Mardi Gras,” Smith said. The record turnout for the krewe’s first official event of the year is a sign of things to come, she added.

This year marks the family-oriented Krewe of Omega’s 30th anniversary.

Krewe royalty this year are father and daughter Don Fellows, King Omega XXX, and Hayley Taff, Queen Omega XXX.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Omega Turns Thirty!” and will feature thematic elements reflecting the joys and perils of post-twenties adulthood.

Hammond’s Krewe of Omega Parade rolls on at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 along its traditional route past the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University, through Historic Downtown Hammond, before returning to its starting point at Southeastern.

For more information, call Smith at (985) 507-1999.