Charles “Fish” Fisher, one of the founders of the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade, died Tuesday morning, according to a Facebook post by the organization.
The Spanish Town Parade, now a large part of Baton Rouge culture, was founded in 1981 by residents of the neighborhood.
“Back in 1981, when the neighborhood was thought to be ‘questionable,’ the residents decided to ‘celebrate their difference’ by starting their own Mardi Gras parade. The first parade rolled—or walked—along Spanish Town Road. Long-time residents say that the first parade was very small. In fact, they say that fewer than ten people lined the streets. Children were the marchers, and they banged on fruit cartons and threw a few beads. Then, the spectators would run to the next corner and throw the beads back to the marchers, so that the parade could continue. Today, many years later, the parade has grown to be so large that it almost seems too big!” the Spanish Town Mardi Gras website says.