Boxers, briefs, brassieres and bikinis saw the light of day Sunday (Aug. 5) during the National Underwear Day parade that promenaded around Bayou St. John in Mid-City from Toulouse Street to Esplanade Avenue and back.
The indiscreet procession was organized by Ryan Ballard, the founder of the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus Mardi Gras parading group, which may explain the Star Wars Stormtroopers who strode amidst the Victoria’s Secret shoppers Sunday.
Underwear Day is a celebration cooked up by the underwear industry 15 years ago to lend its little-seen products some extra exposure. But Ballard said, from his point of view, the New Orleans Underwear Day parade is merely meant to present the public with a splash of fleshy fun in the heat of August. Plus, paraders donated fresh packs of underwear to the homeless.
Ballard’s first National Underwear parade in 2016 took place in the Bywater. Back then, Ballard hoped to set a Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of underwear wearers, but he was foiled by the fact that so many paraders added costume accoutrement to their skivvies that the Guinness judges disqualified the event. Such is the nature of parading in the Crescent City, of course, where costuming just comes naturally. Having learned his lesson, Ballard did not attempt to break any records in 2018.