NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The construction on Napoleon Avenue has some worried that the work will impact Carnival krewes set to roll down the messy boulevard, but it may not be as bad as some think.
Last year, construction was a problem, but according to Carnival historian Arthur Hardy, the good times still rolled.
"People decided to make some adjustments, crowds might have been down a little bit, they had to relocate, but in general people really just got along and I didn't see a real impact. I was a little surprised really, but when it comes to Mardi Gras in New Orlean,s people are real innovative," Hardy said.
The crew at St. Stephen Catholic School is busy prepping for their big Carnival fundraiser, and they depend on the Napoleon corridor to bring in the crowds.
"We were told that everything was gonna be cleaned up, that they're gonna have 6 to 8 feet of neutral ground space. You can't pitch your tent like they normally would, but the cross streets are gonna be open," event organizer Sheila Chatelain said.
The school offers parking for each big day and saves special spots for people willing to pay.
"Mardi Gras is one of our biggest fundraisers of the school year. It goes toward our tuition and text books for the students. We rent tables, we sell parking spots, we do bathroom passes and sell food and drinks," Chatelain said.
She said last year, crowds enjoyed the truncated neutral ground, because for many it meant a prime viewing for the parades.
"You can get a front row seat, with a little card table and some chairs. Last year we didn't know what to expect, but it was wonderful. It worked out better than anyone thought. We were wall-to-wall back here, and on that side we had crowds of people too," Chatelain said.
Hardy said, if you're worried, don't let the construction scare you away from a good time.
"I just don't think it's a big deal. It looks scary, but we're used to doing this thing, we've been doing it since 1857, so I have a lot of faith," Hardy said.
If you want more information on St. Stephen Catholic School's fundraiser or to purchase parking or bathroom passes, call Sheila Chatelain at (504) 891-1927.