Harahan making plans for Mardi Gras-style parade

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 6:12 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - One of the area’s busiest float builders is moving ahead with plans to stage a Mardi Gras-style parade in Harahan. It is scheduled to roll on Memorial Day weekend.

In a Kenner warehouse, Carnival floats have sat idle for over a year but all that will change in three and a half weeks.

“I think there’s going to be a crowd like there’s never been before in Harahan. People are hungry,” said float builder Mac Cantrell.

The Krewe of Kings is scheduled to roll in Harahan on the Sunday before Memorial Day. The route will travel between Hord Street to the east all the way to the western edge of the city down Jefferson Highway, make a u-turn and come back.

“We’ve never done anything quite like this before. I think it will have a heck of a crowd,” said Mardi Gras Guide publisher Arthur Hardy.

The parade normally rolls in Metairie during Carnival, but Cantrell and crew captains moved it to Harahan after failing to win approval in Jefferson Parish before coronavirus restrictions were lifted.

“Right now, we have 20 floats and we will have a unit between every float,” said Cantrell.

Harahan residents say they’re ready

“Down Jefferson Highway is good. Yeah, I’m gonna make it, yeah,” said Harahan resident Lester Roberts.

Mac Cantrell says this is one of the longest periods he’s ever gone without putting on a Mardi Gras Parade and he says there’s a lot of pent-up demand to participate.’

“My phone is ringing off the hook,” said Cantrell.

Bands from Rummel and Chalmette High have committed and Harahan Police may need to bring in extra security.

“They’ll figure it out. It’ll be cool,” said Hardy.

Health educator Dr. Eric Griggs is urging parade-goers to use caution.

“Do your best, stay six feet away, wear a mask, wash your hands and advise them between now and then to go ahead and get vaccinated,” said Griggs.

It’s been a long time since a Mardi Gras-style parade came to Harahan.

“Last time I was in a Harahan parade, I was playing in a band for Rummel High School. That’s how long ago that was,” said Cantrell.

Cantrell expects about 200 riders in the parade.

Though they will be riding on Mardi Gras-style floats, riders are expected to wear patriotic shirts and shorts if they want since Memorial Day weekend is usually warm.

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