Metairie Carnival season kick-off boosts businesses

Carnival season kicked off in Metairie, Sunday, with the Krewe of Little Rascal's, a kid-focused parade with more than a dozen floats. Even though it's the first Carnival weekend of the season in Jefferson Parish, businesses say they're already reaping the benefits. 

"We are buzzing. We're all electric. We are staffed up," said Metairie Mellow Mushroom Assistant Manager Trent Gunder.
Gunder is bracing for two weeks of big business.
"We definitely see an uptick, especially because being right on the parade route," Gunder said.
It makes it an ideal stop for revelers.

"We get hit with a lot of people wanting to take pizzas to go, take it down to the parade route. We also have a fair amount of people who want to come up into the restaurant, they want to sit down, get a quick bite, come in and out. Get the kids fed, get everything done then walk on down to the parade," explained Gunder. "Then, of course, right after the parade ends, everybody starts leaving the parade route and they have to get their pizza one more time." 

Bobby Burvant had a hectic introduction to carnival season. It's his first as assistant manager of Theo's Neighborhood Pizza, which also sits along the parade route. 
"Before the parade even started, we had a line out the door," said Burvant.
While these eateries are thriving in the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras, other businesses scale back their hours.
Lakeside Mall shuts down early on carnival weekends. And it's closed altogether on Mardi Gras Day.
Though representatives wouldn't comment as to exactly why the mall closes early, other businesses won't hesitate to pick up the slack. 
"Love being a part of Mardi Gras," said Burvant.
"Mardi Gras is the best time of the year and we're ready to go," Gunder said.
Metairie's Carnival Season continues next weekend with Excalibur on Friday and Adonis and Caesar on Saturday.

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