Whatever happened to neighborhood Mardi Gras parades?

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NEW ORLEANS — Do you remember the days when Mardi Gras parades took place all over the city, not just in the French Quarter and Uptown?

News with a Twist opinion contributor and radio talk show host Kaare Johnson does.

“I remember the Hercules parade going down Paris Avenue on a Monday night or the Pandora parade going down Robert E Lee Boulevard on a Saturday afternoon,” he says.

And if you lived in New Orleans East, then the Krewe of Pontchartrain went down Haynes Boulevard.

The Krewe of Freret? You guessed it. It lined up and paraded down Freret Street.

This is no longer the case, as most parades go the Uptown route, save for a few in the French Quarter and Endymion, which still starts at City Park and rolls through Mid-City.

Safety, tourists, and logistics surely play a role in the move from neighborhood Mardi Gras, but should Mardi Gras parades go back to the neighborhoods where they began? (Click here for the Mardi Gras 2018 parade schedule.)

Kaare Johnson says yes.

“One of the great strengths of our city is our neighborhoods. And one of the great strengths of our city is Mardi Gras. Let’s bring back the old tradition of true neighborhood parades,” he says.

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