Anne Rice, the queen of world-renowned Gothic literature and one of New Orleans’ favorite girls died on December 11, 2021 at the age of 80 in Rancho Mirage, California. A month later, the author of more than 40 metaphysically-leaning novels was buried in a marble crypt in Lake Lawn Cemetery in Metairie with a small group of family and friends in attendance.
Rice’s army of fans were expected to mourn from a distance, although Rice’s son, Chris, promised “a very big public celebration of New Orleans life” once the COVID virus is brought under sufficient control. The time is approaching now.
At 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, the eve of Halloween, Anne Rice’s Vampire Lestat Fan Club will stage a Second Line Parade in New Orleans for the horror novelist who is believed to have sold over 150 million volumes. in the world.
The walking parade will begin and end at the Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St., where Rice once arrived for a coffin dedication. The parade will pass Rice’s former home, First Street.
Fan club president Mary Dugas says an all-female marching band has been hired for the occasion, and she predicts club members could participate in a full Victorian funeral costume.
The public, she said, is invited to join the procession. Second line parades are traditionally both contemplative and festive.
When asked why an organization devoted to vampirism was planning a parade in broad daylight, Dugas said precautions would be taken.
“I will be heavily shaded with a large beanie,” she said.
The second line Anne Rice parade will take place the following day the 34th annual fan club vampire ball at the Elms Mansion, 3029 St. Charles Ave., at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29. Proceeds from the ball of $350 per person benefit the Save Our Cemeteries organization.
Born Howard Allen Frances O’Brien in 1941, Rice grew up in the Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans, where many of her novels were set. Rice has credited her Catholic upbringing with the source of the spirituality and weirdness that underlies her works.
Rice’s 1976 blockbuster “Interview with the Vampire” gave rise to a more contemporary and self-aware take on vampire mythos, while cementing New Orleans’ reputation as a sensual and mysterious milieu. In the 1980s and beyond, Rice was probably the source of countless tourists visiting the city.
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