KENNER, La. (WVUE) - The story of the all-female Krewe of Isis started in the 1970s when they made their inaugural ride in Kenner. Since then, they’ve paraded in Metairie, but it looks like Isis may be going back home.
Carnival Historian Arthur Hardy said although it’s a loss for Metairie, the move is good opportunity for Kenner’s Mardi Gras festivities to grow.
“It’s exciting for Kenner, and it’s going to be exciting to see if it works and will anyone follow them,” Hardy said.
Hardy said it’s been a summer of change for Mardi Gras and the carnival schedule, but he said that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“To Jefferson Parish’s credit, they’re trying to do new things. If they don’t work, try something else, but no one’s sitting back and saying, ‘Oh well, there’s some movement here,’ and I think that’s healthy,” Hardy said.
Jefferson Parish leaders changed and reversed the traditional Metairie parade route to end at Family Gras this past year, a decision that was not well received by all. Hardy said though he hasn’t heard why Isis is planning a move back to Kenner, he said it’s no secret Krewe leaders were not fond of flipping the route.
“I think there’s a good bet, other than Fat Tuesday, all the parades in Metairie will be the first weekend to coincide with Family Gras, and Isis would have been on that second Sunday. And I know they weren’t real happy with the new route, and were given an opportunity last year to keep the old route. So that could all be part of what’s at play,” Hardy said.
Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni said they do plan to add more events to Family Gras weekend.
“We’ll have more parades on that first weekend complimenting Family Gras, and that’ll be Jefferson Parish’s big push,” Yenni said.
Yenni said it’s hard for Metairie parades to compete with those Uptown, which is why they made changes to the parade route and are beginning to focus their Mardi Gras efforts on Family Gras.
“This year was the year to work out kinks," Yenni said. “We want to have more bands to go after the parades come through so the crowds have something to stay for.”
Yenni said he believes the new route will start by leaving Esplanade Mall to go down West Esplanade to Loyola, then to Vintage, to Chateau, then ending on Joe Yenni boulevard, and he said he hopes the Krewe enjoys the new route.
“It’s something new for Isis, it will be totally new," he said. “It won’t be reverse, it will be totally new route they’ll be taking.”
Hardy said he hasn’t seen carnival changes like this in years.
“This will be a different year. We haven’t seen this many changes in several years,” Hardy said.
The Krewe of Isis did not want to comment on the parade route change Tuesday (June 11).
Hardy also pointed out it’s still up in the air what the Krewe of Caesar will do. Krewe leaders have not committed to taking this year off nor have they committed to a parade elsewhere.