Second float fatality leads to major change in float rules

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NEW ORLEANS – On the scene where a man was killed tonight (Feb. 22) by a float in the Endymion Parade, Mayor Latoya Cantrell and NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson announced that “tandem floats” will no longer be allowed in Mardi Gras Parades.

Tandem floats are those which are built in separate parts, carrying separate groups of riders and hitched together.

The float involved in the fatal accident was the “Captain S. S. Eddie Endymion,” one of the largest in Carnival.

It’s named for Endymion founder Ed Munoz and it’s a three-part tandem float, designed to look like a Mississippi paddle-wheeler.

Wednesday night’s fatality in the Nyx parade also involved a tandem float, but one that’s smaller than the S. S. Endymion.

“To be confronted with such tragedy a second time at the height of our Carnival celebrations seems an unimaginable burden to bear,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement. “The City and the people of New Orleans will come together, we will grieve together, and we will persevere together. Our hearts break for those lost and for their loved ones, and our prayers and deepest sympathies are with them — and will be with them in all the days and months ahead. May our people take this moment to uplift our brothers and our sisters, to mourn as one and to move forward, together.”

The decision initially left in doubt what the super krewes of Bacchus and Orpheus will do in their parades Sunday and Monday, if all tandem floats are banned.

That means that potentially hundreds of riders would have no floats to ride on.

The Krewe of Bacchus released the following statement:

“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 Orpheus has also agreed to the new rules.

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