Mardi Gras taboo: Saving parade spots

Mardi Gras taboo: Saving parade spots

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Staking your claim on the parade route may seem like a Mardi Gras pro-tip, but it's actually illegal, according to the city.

That hasn't stopped dozens of people who have roped off sections and spray-painted spots on the neutral ground in Mid-City ahead of Endymion on Saturday.

"We come out on Friday, we actually camp out that night, hang out and then get relieved about six in the morning. The spray paint really means nothing if you're not out here to make sure you get it Saturday morning," said Jordan Bourgeois, who was marking his territory.

Bourgeois said his group is always willing to let a family with kids squeeze in with their crowd, but the city said that still doesn't make it okay to rope off a personal spot.

"No roping off areas of neutral ground! Everybody listening? No roping off areas of the neutral ground," Mayor Mitch Landrieu emphatically exclaimed during a press conference leading into the Carnival weekends.

Even when confronted while roping off a spot, though, some people weren't worried about possibly violating city ordinances.

"I mean everybody else does it, so nobody has told us anything, so we just said okay we can do it," said Annabel Rodriguez, who was roping off a spot with her boyfriend on Carrollton.

Still, some people think the best way to deal with the saved spot is with a little parade route revenge.

"If there ain't nobody there, then it ain't their spot. That's what I say. I say if you're not there and you're here for the parade, it's anybody spot," Ronald Williams said.

The city provided the following statement on the issue:

"To ensure a fun, safe experience for all parade goers, the City is committed to enforcing all laws designed to create a great Mardi Gras. According to City law, defacing or vandalizing any areas of the neutral ground, public sidewalks, or other public property is prohibited. Residents should not spray paint or rope off public property along parade routes, and to visit for a full list of all guidelines for this carnival season."

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.