Kingship of Lul: Grand Marshal Fay Caire and Chaplain Fr. Anthony Odion

Pr. Anthony Odiong and Fay Cairo.

Fay Caire joked that she and her family have been going to the Krewe of Lul parade since “the beginning of time”, but on Saturday she will be able to see the festivities from a whole new perspective.

Cairo will ride as Grand Marshal of Lul, marking not only his first time as royalty, but also his first-ever appearance in the parade. Overall, she hasn’t had the chance to ride in much, noting that she’s done it in a few New Orleans parades, but that was several years ago.

She is looking forward to Saturday.

“We always made a big deal out of it, my family and I,” she said. “We lived right next to the parade route when I was younger, and my aunt lived right on the route. We used to go out and everyone was having fun. We’ve been going on since and just having fun.

“I know it’s going to be so much fun to ride, but it’s also such an honor to be chosen and I feel honored to represent them. I’m excited about it… I’ll be seeing so many people, I can’t wait. I have trouble sleeping, it’s all going through my head, do I have this or that, but it’s exciting.

She didn’t expect the news when she received it. In fact, she expected totally different news.

“We met at my niece’s house. She said, “We have something to tell you. And my first thought was that my little niece is pregnant! But that wasn’t it. They said, ‘They want you to be Luling’s Parade Grand Marshal. I was almost overwhelmed. I thought about it and said, wow, yeah, I want to,” Caire said.

“I was shocked. I really was. My husband passed away…I thought there would never be that chance (to ride) as Grand Marshal or King and Queen. I never rode at Lul and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

Cairo grew up in Old Luling and has been very involved in her community over the years, including serving as Director of the River Parishes Retired and Senior Volunteer Program before her retirement.

Meanwhile, Odiong is the second parade chaplain in Lul’s history. The first came five years ago, when Fr. Bernard C. Francis presided – an addition made to the parade to celebrate its 45and birthday. This year being the 45and Lul’s birthday, parade organizers decided it would be appropriate to add a chaplain to the proceedings again.

A native of Calabar, Nigeria, Odiong was ordained in 1993. He served in Nigeria for a decade before moving to Austin, Texas, and became an associate pastor at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Church. He also holds a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.

Now parish priest of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Luling, a vocation he accepted in 2006, he will no doubt see many of his parishioners from another perspective on Saturday’s parade route.

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