By Barry Lemoine
The Knights of Nemesis 16th Anniversary Parade is scheduled to hit the streets on Saturday, February 19 at 1 pm. This year’s parade will feature 14 floats with 20 marching units and 250 riders. Riders will be throwing special parade t-shirts, medallion beads, cups and other novelty items. Russell Luke Vucinovich, Jr and Rhonda A. Miller-Johnson will reign as Royal Knight and Goddess XVI.
Royal Knight XVI, “Rusty” Vucinovich has deep roots in the parish and a commitment to food and fun. Since 1984 he and his wife, Eileen, have been food vendors at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest. He also owns and operates Vucinovich’s Restaurant, and the La Bella Vita Reception Hall in Meraux.
Active members in the community, the Vucinocich Family has donated time and money to a wide array of different charities and non-profit organizations.
Royal Goddess XVI, Rhonda A. Miller-Johnson works as a Management Analyst for the United States Department of Agriculture, but is better known for her years of involvement at Rebel Park, St. Bernard All-Stars, AAU Volleyball and various adult cabbage ball leagues. She has also served as a float lieutenant for Knights of Nemesis for the last five years. Rhonda is described as a fun-loving, ball playing, enthusiastic, family woman with a love for the Parish. She can’t wait for her reign.
Since 2004, the Knights of Nemesis has brought carnival to life in St. Bernard Parish. Created as a social club to promote business and fellowship, Nemesis is the only active Mardi Gras Parade in the parish.
Billy Showalter, the president of the organization, said he is “excitedly looking forward to this parade.” He said from its origins, Nemesis has chosen to be a non-traditional parade – no theme and instead of a ball, it celebrates its royalty and krewe at an annual Luau each August.
Showalter said he is proud of the parade’s history and appreciates its evolution. “My favorite part of the krewe is seeing it evolve from a men’s only organization to the fact that anyone seven and over can now ride in the parade!”
Vucinovich echoed these sentiments and said the ride is great no matter what float you are on.
“”Last year, I was the last man on the last float,” he said, “This year I will ride as the Royal Knight. I cannot wait!”
For more information about the parade, visit www.knightsofnemesis.org