Big changes announced for Metairie parades, Family Gras 2019

METAIRIE – Mardi Gras Krewes in Jefferson Parish will be able to choose which direction they will roll down the traditional Metairie parade route in 2019.

Coinciding with the effort to move the location of Family Gras from the neutral ground in front of Lakeside mall to the parking lot behind Clearview Mall, parades will be able to end at Clearview instead of beginning there.

For decades, all Metairie parades have lined up in the parking lot of the Clearview Mall and processed East up Veterans Memorial Boulevard to Martin Behrman Avenue, traveling up Severn Avenue and Bonnabel Boulevard along the way.

Jefferson Parish Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken said constituents have complained for years that families have been forced to go home before parades even get to Bonnabel since it takes so long to weave down the route.

Now, each parade captain will be able to choose whether they want to line up at Clearview and process East or line up on Bonnabel and process West.

This will allow the more family oriented areas along Bonnabel access to the parades as early as possible, while the more business oriented areas will be able to catch throws later on.

Family Gras attendees will also have the advantage of having the parades come to them and pass right in front of the stages, bookending the festivities.

John Oats, Michael McDonald, and Brett Eldredge will all headline Family Gras 2019, which will take place February 22, 23, and 24.