NEW ORLEANS – Despite the recent tragedies involving Mardi Gras parades, city leaders are allowing Mardi Gras to continue. More than a dozen parades as still set to roll this season, but Mayor Cantrell says some changes must be made.
New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell
“In wake of the tragic incidents along parade routes this week, our City’s public safety team is leaning forward with immediate pro-active efforts to keep our residents and our visitors safe this season,” said Mayor Cantrell. “As announced last night, we will be strictly enforcing a ban on tandem floats — effective immediately. We have worked closely with the krewes and their leadership to make these changes efficiently and quickly, and to find solutions. In addition, public safety officials will continue to actively enforce setback standards: making sure ladders are 6 feet back from the curb and that spectators are standing well back from the moving procession. In the weeks and months ahead, we will be looking at further changes that need to be made to make our routes and our celebrations more safe — but the work starts right now.”
Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng
“Our thoughts and condolences are with the loved ones of those who recently lost their lives in the parade incidents in Orleans Parish, along with all the citizens of New Orleans and our entire region during this time of tragedy. Safety is always our number one priority during Carnival season. In light of the recent incidents, JPSO has heightened security measures throughout the route. Our Citizens Affairs Department is also meeting with the Captains for our remaining Jefferson Parish Carnival krewes to ensure that they are all aware of the standard safety guidelines in place so that all our residents and visitors can enjoy a fun and safe Mardi Gras.
Please exercise caution both on and off the routes and stay out of the streets as floats pass. Parade goers are reminded to not go after any throws that land near floats and to never cross between floats or parade elements. Families with young children should be extra cautious to ensure that children do not run into the street.”
Krewe of Orpheus
The Krewe of Orpheus will uncouple its four tandem floats in response to the City of New Orleans’ announcement that tandem floats, multiple floats connected together and pulled by one tractor, will not be allowed for the remainder of this year’s Carnival season.
The super krewe’s four tandem floats, including the signature eight-unit Smokey Mary, the three-unit Leviathan, the Davy Jones and Scylia and the Mystery of Carnival, will be uncoupled and each segment will be pulled by its own tractor, allowing all riders to participate in the parade as planned. The Krewe of Orpheus has obtained 12 additional tractors and drivers to pull all segments, and Smokey Mary is currently being rewired so all units will be illuminated; the Leviathan will have some limitations but will still be lit up. “The Krewe of Orpheus extends its heartfelt sympathy to the families of those whose lives were lost in the recent parade incidents,” said Krewe of Orpheus Captain Sonny Borey. “Orpheus will comply with the recommendations of Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Chief of Police Shaun Ferguson. Safety remains our priority and moving forward we offer our help to ensure the safety of parade goers as well as krewes.” Orpheus will begin rolling at 6 p.m. on Lundi Gras starting at Tchoupitoulas and Napoleon and ending at the New Orleans Convention Center where the Orpheuscapade will be underway.
Krewe of Bacchus
On behalf of the Krewe of Bacchus we express our sincere condolences to the family of the young man who tragically lost his life this evening. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. We have spoken with Kern Studios and we will comply with the City of New Orleans’ request to split our tandem floats. The Krewe of Bacchus will roll as usual on Bacchus Sunday at 5:15 pm from Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas.