Two days after Jefferson Parish called to order its first meeting of the East Bank Carnival Advisory Committee, Sheriff Newell Normand told WGNO News his own ideas for improving carnival parades in the parish.
“We have to come to a situation where we have a good product that we put out on the street,” Normand said.
Many of the krewes in Jefferson Parish are dealing with dwindling memberships.
The parish’s committee is looking at ideas like changing the days when parades roll to create a giant first weekend of carnival and basically surrendering the second weekend to New Orleans and its super krewes.
“We have nobody on the route in that second weekend,” he said.
Normand agrees that stacking parades on the same weekend as Family Gras would draw bigger crowds and hopefully more riders.
Normand did not weigh in on the committee’s consideration of giving krewes the option of moving to a Metairie Rd/Bonnabel Blvd route, but a representative of his office previously stated that the move would create significant issues for the JPSO including higher costs.
Normand directed his most critical comments at some carnival krewe — although not singling out any by name — that he says need to step up their game if the parish is going to continue to pay the average cost of $75,000 to police and clean-up after their parades.
“If you’re not strong enough financially, you’re not strong enough as a krewe to meet the minimum requirements, you have no business parading.” Normand said. “I intend to tell the committee that if you don’t meet the minumum requirements by the deadlines that are imposed by the parish ordinance, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is not going to be on the street.”