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Blakeview: Germaine Wells 

Chris Owens is the woman most associated with an Easter parade in New Orleans, but another theatrical French Quarter personality — Germaine Wells — is remembered for starting an Easter parade in the city in 1956. Wells was the daughter of Arnaud Cazenave, founder of Arnaud's Restaurant. Wells, who was known for her love of Mardi Gras, costuming and parading, introduced her Easter parade after visiting New York, home of the Fifth Avenue Easter Parade. The New Orleans parade, featuring women in beautiful hats riding in mule-drawn carriages, would start at Wells' house on the corner of Esplanade Avenue and Chartres Street. The parade stopped at St. Louis Cathedral for Mass at noon and at Arnaud's Restaurant for lunch. Wells died in 1983, and Chris Owens began her own Easter parade soon after. Both parades will roll this year: The one founded by Wells rolls at 9:45 a.m., while Owens' takes to the streets at 1 p.m.

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