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Carnival Costume Pays Tribute to Andrew Higgins

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Brittany Wagganer wearing her costume in front of the Museum at Andrew Higgins Boulevard.

Brittany Waggener wearing her costume in front of the Museum at Andrew Higgins Boulevard.

There’s one costume we’ve been seeing on the parade route down in New Orleans this Carnival season that has us intrigued. Marching down the streets in many parades is one Dame de Perlage who is paying honor to the Museum’s cross street Andrew Higgins Boulevard with an intricate beaded corset featuring a WWII amphibious invasion scene.

Dames de Perlage is a walking krewe of women who continue the beadwork tradition of perlage, and their theme this year paid tribute to streets in New Orleans. One Dame named Brittany Waggener, a fan of the Museum and PhD student in Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans, chose to make her costume to pay tribute to our cross street named for Andrew Jackson Higgins, the man behind why the Museum calls New Orleans home.

Dwight Eisenhower attributes Higgins as “the man who won the war for [America in World War II].” During the war, Higgins led a boat building industry in New Orleans that designed and produced the critical LCVP that allowed for successful amphibious invasions like the ones that took place on D-Day and throughout the Pacific. During the war, he employed over 18,000 citizens of New Orleans to produce boats for the war.

Over the past 7 months, Waggener has clocked nearly 200 hours creating this tribute to Higgins with hand-sewn beadwork. Her scene features an amphibious invasion scene with airplane and a Higgins LCVP with three figures in it. The three men in the LCVP represent two of her family members who served in World War II and a close family friend that served in the armed forces during the war: Charles E. “Doc” Hill, Charles Andrew “Andy” Waggener, and Houston Raymond “Ray” Gravely.

Waggener is proud that New Orleans houses our world class Museum, and has been giving patriotic throws for the veterans and active service members she has encountered along the parade route.


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