Krewe of Boo has positive impact on business in the French Quarter

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:01 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Many people were thrilled to head back to a parade over the weekend as the Krewe of Boo rolled through the French Quarter. But city leaders say information gathered during and after the parade will help determine how future events look.

It was the first parade in the city of New Orleans in almost two years.

“It was something that kind of exceeded our expectations really,” said Levie Broussard, bartender at Molly’s at the Market on Decatur St. “It was the busiest day we’ve had since COVID started.”

“The crowd was very family-oriented. People were very excited,” said Jimmy Fernandez, manager at the American Sports Saloon. “We worked hard. We were very crowded that day between that and college football and all the games that we showed.”

More: Krewe of Boo has to skip Canal Street due to police shortage, City says

It was a parade full of treats and so far-- no tricks.

Director of the New Orleans Department of Health Dr. Jennifer Avegno said the parade was a good snapshot in time of what big events are going to be going forward.

She said about 1,200 parade-goers took the department’s COVID health survey. Her team distributed nearly 1,000 COVID home tests and administered 60 COVID PCR tests on the route.

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“One of the interesting things we are finding so far is that looking at those 1200 or so surveys, over 90 percent of them report being vaccinated, which is exactly what you want to see at a big event,” said Dr. Avegno.

She said her team also discovered there were more visitors in the crowd compared to locals.

“And there are other cities that are really looking to this as well-- New York City has their Macy’s Day parade coming up, really as of now under the exact same conditions as we are,” she said. “They’ve got a vaccine mandate too, they’ve got high vaccination rates, they’ve got low case counts, so they’re interested to see if this works out in New Orleans and it should also work in New York City, so we’re excited to share and learn from each other.”

For those who work in the French Quarter, it was nice to get back to business. They say they felt safe, and their patrons played it safe too.

“There was nothing unsafe about it,” said Fernandez. “Because people are still trying to be careful and the city’s been careful all along honestly.”

“It’s definitely very refreshing to see that energy, that spirit,” said Broussard. “It’s almost back in full swing you know.”

Now we wait and see what happens.

Dr. Avegno said next week her team will check in with the 1,200 people who took the survey to see how they are feeling. And then again two weeks from now to see if anything has changed.

She hopes it will give an idea of how safe large events can be during the COVID pandemic.

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