Krewe of Nyx park promotes inclusivity, honors Nancy Parker



Two bird sculptures, Yat and Dat. sit in the center of the Krewe of Nyx’s first all-inclusive park that opened Jan. 26. The two characters were created by the late Nancy Parker, and the park was built in her honor.

Madison Mcloughlin

With its hot pink slides, tunnels and railings, the brand-new Krewe of Nyx park catches the eye of most people passing by. However, the bright color is not the only thing that sets the new park apart. 

 The Mystic Krewe of Nyx unveiled its first all-inclusive, children’s playground on Jan. 26. Wheelchair ramps, Braille alphabet panels and a merry-go-round that anyone can spin on also sit within the enclosed area, ready for children of all capabilities. 

At the opening ceremony, Julie Lea, captain of  the Krewe of Nyx, addressed the inclusiveness of the park. 

“Everyone can enjoy this space. Children of all abilities will be able to make new friends, play on this structure and everybody in Mid-City will be able to enjoy this,” she said.

The park by the corner of South Jefferson Davis Parkway and Conti Street is the first of three all-inclusive playgrounds, costing around $134,000 each. The krewe worked with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission on the first park and will continue to do so for the remaining two projects.

“I said, ‘but realize something, to build this, this is something that can last forever,’” New Orleans Recreation Department Commission CEO Larry Barabino said. “This is something parents can bring their kids out, with all abilities, to play on. They said, ‘we’re not only in, we’re going to do three. One each year for the next three years.’”

Not only was the new playground built to accommodate all children, but it also honors Nancy Parker, a renowned news anchor and author who was instrumental in helping the Krewe of Nyx’s project come to completion. The krewe asked Parker to be the 2020 Grand Marshall before her tragic death in a plane crash in August. 

“I believe she is shining down on us today, crying happy tears,” Lea said.

In the middle of the park sit two colorful birds, watching over the playing children. Parker created the characters, Yat and Dat, to illustrate her three children’s books. 

“It’s about my wife’s legacy. First of all, I’m grateful to the Krewe of Nyx and Fox 8 would think so much to recognize Nancy, and all she’s done and all of her accomplishments,” Parker’s husband, Glenn Boyd, said. 

Boyd believes Parker would be proud of the park, and he and his family are grateful to have her honored in Yat and Dat.

“These two birds meant a lot to her, and to have them here at the center of this park is just really amazing. We are just so proud of her,” Boyd said.