I Love Produce to host Halloween celebration in Orlando with North Side Skull and Bone Gang
The North Side Skull and Bone Gang has a yearly tradition on Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday to remind people that life is short. Members of the gang, which draws heavily upon African traditions, mask as skeletons, play percussion instruments, chant and sing during Carnival to remind people to be your best and enjoy life.
Big Chief Sunpie Barnes and Chief Zohar Isreal will be joining the I Love Produce team at its booth (No. 1504) to help promote the annual OctGarlicFest Halloween promotion.
The Gang had to postpone their appearance in New Orleans last year when a hurricane cancelled the produce show.
“Having people remember that life is precious and that we have all survived through hard times is our positive message,” said Barnes. “We are happy and delighted to have the opportunity to mask again for a fun event that will also benefit our group.”
At the past two conventions, I Love Produce has featured Elvira, the Queen of Halloween, and Count Von Count of Sesame Street fame to promote garlic for Halloween.
“We had big plans for The North Side Skull and Bone Gang in New Orleans last year, perhaps the final year the convention would have been held there,” said Jim Provost, president of I Love Produce, based in Kelton, PA. “Then we decided to bring part of New Orleans’ culture and tradition to Orlando. Plus, with the convention being held on Halloween weekend, it is a double bonus.”
The Northside Skull and Bone Gang began in the year 1819.
According to Big Chief Sunpie Barnes, the gang’s founder was a sailor and merchant marine who came from South Africa and began masking as a skeleton in the historically black Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans. Current members have Caribbean, American Indian and African roots.
“For a photo opportunity with Big Chief Sunpie and Chief Zohar Isreal, and a souvenir mask, come by our booth (No. 1504) to learn a bit of New Orleans’ history and also have some fun with the I Love Produce ‘Skull and Bulb’ gang,” said Provost.