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Spanish Town Parade fans prepare to party, even in the rain

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BATON ROUGE - Possibilities of showers Saturday are leading people in Spanish Town to prepare early before the parade rolls.

Officials with the Krewe of Spanish Town say "rain or shine" has been their policy since the parade began 38 years ago, and this weekend will be no exception.

"We've got people that come in from Houston, Chicago, from Florida, Tampa, to ride every year," said rider Gil Leachman. He said this year, he's praying to the parade gods, hoping for a clear ride, even though the forecast calls for spotty showers all day long.

Veteran paraders say a little water won't dampen their spirits.

"Hopefully people won't be scared because of the rain," Josie Panula said, "but the ones who are regulars, it doesn't bother them at all, they'll be here."

Debbie and Josie Panula have thrown a parade party for the last 28 years. They said nothing will stop them or their DJ.

"I'm going to set up tents," DJ Chris Turner said. "This yard is probably going to be full of tents, so everyone will be covered. The ones who are not covered will have rain suits, but the party will definitely still roll.

Around the corner, Gail Nettles said she can hardly wait for the parade. She doesn't live in the area, but she and her husband bought a house in the neighborhood specifically for the parade. She recalled what everyone did a previous year when it stormed.

"Nothing," Nettles said. "We came, we were on people's porches, and it just rolled."

The Krewe of Spanish Town Parade rolls at noon Saturday.

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