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Committee to take up Carnival rules ahead of vote

Published: Jan. 14, 2014 at 2:40 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2014 at 3:12 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS - His decorations are already up, and every year, Dennis Schulingkamp's house on Orleans becomes a hub for Endymion.

This is prized property for Mid-City's only parade, and people often camp out days in advance.

"During the daytime, they play their radios and they scream and drink, but it's all fun, you know?" he says. "It's Mardi Gras. Nobody's very disrespectful, and people generally - they take it easy for you."

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell wants all parade-goers to be respectful this Carnival season. That's why she's proposing several new rules.

"It's about safety and having a great time during Carnival," she says.

Among the proposals, a change in the ordinance regarding ladders. Cantrell wants all ladders, tents and grills to be set back a uniform 6 feet from the curb.

As in years past, ladders can't be chained together, and intersections would be standing-room only.

"Putting ladders or chairs or any type of equipment in the intersection just causes a real hazard if an emergency occurs," says Cantrell. "So we want to ensure that we're being proactive, that people can not block the intersection."

Cantrell also wants to stop the placement of unpermitted portable toilets on public property.

Perhaps the biggest change - she wants ban the sale of stink bombs and snap pops along the parade routes.

"The snap pops did come particularly from our krewe members afraid of them causing the animals to be scared," she says.

Cantrell says all departments citywide, from police to sanitation, are in agreement to enforce whatever rules the Council adopts.

City leaders are expected to vote on the measure Jan. 23. A committee will discuss the proposals Tuesday.

Mid-City Neighborhood Organization President Jennifer Farwell says it's all about finding a balance between having fun and respecting others.

"All of these cultural events are everyone's cultural events. They're not restricted to a certain group of people that happen to show up a week early," she says. "So I think everyone just has to respect each other's space and try to work it out."