Florida's Rooster Parade returns

Aug. 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM

TAMPA, Fla., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- About 75 Floridians donned costumes a revived Rooster Parade, a New Orleans-style funeral procession that used to be an annual event.

The Tampa event, which became an annual tradition following the 1997 death of a wild rooster that used to wander the city's streets, returned to the Ybor City neighborhood during the weekend after a five-year hiatus, the Tampa Bay Times reported Monday.

Pam Vopper, whose boyfriend, Tommy Stephens, used to run the event, said the parades stopped because crowds were growing too large.

"There were hundreds of people and it was getting to the point where the city wanted him to pay for security and get a permit. It just became a big project," Vopper said. "It was too much money."

The parade was resurrected by David Audet, a director for the non-profit Artists and Writers Group, with Stephens' permission.

"I just think it's important to preserve Ybor's traditions," Audet said.

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