There were brass bands, colorful costumes, and plenty of dogs to celebrate the legacy of this iconic Golden Girl.
Betty White died on New Year’s Eve of 2021, just weeks shy of what would have been her 100th Birthday on January 17, 2022. As America mourned the loss of their favorite Golden Girl and a comedic legend who starred in dozens of memorable roles, the city of New Orleans began planning. The idea, crafted by Santa T. Claus (yes, that’s his legal name) and Carl Mack of Carl Mack Presents, was to host a celebration of her life––in true New Orleans’ style.
The massive Betty White Parade marched on January 16 through the heart of the French Quarter, featuring all the trappings—from The Bourbon Street Brass Band to citizens twirling parasols. Many donned Betty White wigs and tropical shirts, while others held hand-painted signs of their favorite comedian’s quotes. Dogs were plentiful, and once the organizers covered the parade’s cost, all the proceeds were given to the locally run Villalobos Rescue Center for animals in need. Betty White was a massive animal lover who personally funded the relocation of several zoo animals before Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005 in the city.
The parade was both whimsical and meaningful––something fans would say was emblematic of White’s own life––and the final moments certainly brought a tear or two. As the crowd huddled against the cold in Jackson Square, they sent some love up to Betty White with a moving chorus of I’ll Fly Away. Here, we bring you a few outtakes of a very fitting tribute to an incredible star.