The comments to the post below have generated one last thought on parade etiquette after which I think it's time to put Carnival 2007 to bed.
A parade crowd should be a group of people standing with each other rather than in front of or behind someone.
Under normal circumstances, position in the crowd is a fluid variable. As the parade passes, people shift position according to where they feel comfortable. Some folks like to stand in front and chase floats, some stand in the back and wave, some move in and out. And how people position themselves might be different for each parade.. no.. each float. And that's part of the parade experience. So is interacting with the people next to you.
Ladders, ropes and the other obstacles we have discussed at length all impede this dynamic process and ultimately detract from the experience.
Having said that, I think there has been so much negative comment as to leave the casual reader with the impression that the parade experience is somehow not worth it. Keep in mind, this is one small but important issue raised by Carnival devotees who I am certain thoroughly enjoyed Mardi Gras 2007. Don't take my word for that. Click through your NOLA blogroll to read about the many ways Carnival was enjoyed by the participants in this discussion. Hell, I'm probably griping the most and I ATTENDED EVERY PARADE.
In other words, we still love Carnival.. but because we love it so much, we would like to see this addressed. See ya next year.