NEW YORK – The leader of New York's annual Halloween parade will not be a drag queen on roller skates. It will not be a giant caricature of President Bush. It will not be a naked man covered in glitter.
The star will be a little trumpeter from New Orleans — 10-year-old Glenn Haul III (search), whose house and horn were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina (search). In New York, he got a new trumpet that he will play Monday in what is billed as the country's biggest public Halloween event.
Glenn's role as grand marshal is part of a New Orleans theme at Monday's parade, which takes place in New York's Greenwich Village. The parade's symbol — as it was in 2001 after Sept. 11 (search) — is a phoenix rising from its ashes.
The phoenix will rise from a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral, with displaced Katrina survivors dancing behind a coffin in both grief and joie de vivre.
"The dancing is to raise the spirits, to bring them back. And the music is a cry for the people who died," said New Orleans rapper Allen Porche, 22, who will be dancing in the parade. On his right arm, he has a tattoo that reads "Ninth Ward" — the neighborhood where his family's home was submerged under 27 feet of water.
Glenn flew to New York last week with his 6-year-old sister, Jazz, their parents, grandmother and cousin. All of them had been living in Memphis after the hurricane destroyed their home. Glenn, a son of a handyman, was given the new trumpet last week at the Manhattan-based Jazz Foundation (search).
"I love it. It's got more sound, smoother pistons, a softer mouthpiece than my old one," said Glenn, fingering the silver, Paris-made trumpet donated by a California woman through the Jazz Foundation.
He'll be joined by the Hot 8 Jazz Band (search) — 10 of the edgiest street musicians in New Orleans, whose instruments also were donated through the Jazz Foundation.
Members of the Hot 8 band were dispersed all over the country, but the Halloween parade reunited them, with organizers paying their expenses.
For them and other Katrina survivors, the phoenix in the parade is not just a symbol.
"Their lives are in bits and pieces, they're spread all over," parade director Jeanne Fleming said. "But on the night of Halloween, we'll all come together. When this band comes down the street and they're playing their music, it's going to move energy and spirit. People are going to feel the mourning that needs to be done for New Orleans."