Beloved New Orleans Entertainer, Chris Owens, Dies Just Before Return of Namesake Easter Parade

"She owns Easter in this town. You can’t picture it without her."

New Orleans Chris Owens Easter Parade
Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The city of New Orleans is reeling after the death of legendary French Quarter entertainer Chris Owens this week.

Longtime friend and manager Kitsy Adams confirmed to WWL that Owens died of a heart attack Tuesday morning. Though she would take great offense to us sharing this, she was 89 years old.

News of Owen's death came shortly after the announcement that the Easter parade she's been a fixture of since the early 80s would be making its post-Covid return to the city.

"She owns Easter in this town. You can't picture it without her," musician Richard Egner told the local news station. "I think Easter is going to be one of the most special days in a long, long time. It's going to turn into the epic second line parade and celebration."

Owens opened her first club on Bourbon Street in 1957 and rose to fame as a singer, dancer, and philanthropist. The Texas-native was the French Quarter's most recognizable faces for decades, beloved for her kindness and talents alike.

In a statement, Mayor LaToya Cantrell called Owens "charismatic, beautiful, and iconic."

"Today we mourn the passing of Chris Owens, one of the brightest lights of the French Quarter. The consummate entertainer and the star of her own Bourbon Street nightclub, Ms. Owens was charismatic, beautiful, and iconic," Mayor Cantrell said. "This news is even sadder, as we are just weeks away from the Easter Parade that became her most glorious stage. May she rest in God's perfect peace."

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As far as this year's Easter parade is concerned, Adams told WWL that the show must go on, as Owens would have wanted it to.

"I believe that she's definitely at peace and I know that she wants that Easter parade to go on and it will go on," she said.

The parade will roll in Owens' honor on Sunday, April 17 at 1 p.m.

A candlelight vigil is planned for this evening at 6:30 p.m. outside Chris Owens Club.

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