Mardi Gras Krewes have to wait to find out if routes shortened again

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 10:59 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - As the city of New Orleans still faces a police manpower shortage, Carnival krewes want to know if they will be allowed to return to their traditional parade routes for next year’s Carnival season.

“The big question is, when will we know and we don’t know and that’s still frustrating, but sooner or later, everybody has to find out where are we going to parade,” Arthur Hardy, Mardi Gras Guide Author said.

That’s the biggest question heading into the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Council after last season.

“It’s way too early that the Mayor’s office, at the highest levels, the Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department, they’re all working on these issues surrounding not just Mardi Gras, but all big public events, entertainment venues, so we’re gonna get some answers probably closer to the end of the year,” James Reiss with the MMGAC said.

After a year off, Mardi Gras 2022 resumed with krewes parading along a modified route announced at the end of December because staffing from police, fire and medical was limited.

Some of the smaller walking krewes like Chewbacchus were even cut down last minute because a lack of officers signed up for the details.

When the big parades roll, it’s mandatory for all officers on shift to hit the streets but with police numbers dropping further, it’s assumed that something will have to be done.

“The members I guess, you know, understood it at that point, but at some point in time, people are spending money. So, when people are spending money, they’re looking for their full bang for the buck and end of the day,” Krewe of Pygmalion Captain Jack Rizzuto said.

The Krewe Of Pygmalion says planning will go on as normal but their membership is already wondering what this year will look like.

“We had to actually a float lieutenants meeting yesterday evening and our float lieutenants are asking the question, they’re asking the questions about police security and all these other things, so I would hope by the October meeting that they set tonight, we’ll have some answers,” Rizzuto said.

Hardy says a few krewes are already thinking about their own security but it’s unclear if the city will allow that.

“There aren’t many options on the table right now, so it’s in the hands of the Mayor and the Police Chief and hopefully we’ll know something sooner rather than later,” Hardy said.

There will be two more meetings on October 20 and January 12, before Mardi Gras on February 21.

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