Thursday, November 14, 2013

Are we really that close to Carnival season?

I thought it was a late one this year.  Also is the guy who played House really enough of a has been D-lister yet to be Bacchus?
Hugh Laurie, who was announced as the super krewe's celebrity king, proclaimed his excitement on Twitter on Thursday.

"I am shirt-bustingly proud to announce that I have been offered the Throne of Bacchus in the next Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Be there!!" he posted to the social media site.

"My reign will be firm but benevolent. Peace and harmony will be upon the land, and the crops will thrive. Please don't get up," he said.
Bonus item: Two more Jefferson Parish parades cancel for 2014. The krewes blame new parade quality regulations but, as we've mentioned before, there's also the anti-suburbanization trend to consider.
The challenge for Thor was that its members tended to drift to New Orleans, Cantrell said. "It just got harder and harder to keep the membership interested in riding in a Metairie krewe," Cantrell said. "You can start a parade in New Orleans and the next year get 600 or 700 members who want the atmosphere of St. Charles" Avenue."

Indeed, the allure of the Uptown parade route was cited by the krewes of Alla and Choctaw for their moves from the West Bank to St. Charles Avenue.
What's being lost here, though, is the idea that a parade is a neighborhood event.  We've already decided to just jam all the Orleans Parish parades down St. Charles Avenue. Now we're even doing that with the suburban krewes.

The proponents of Jefferson's new ordinance say they're opting for "quality over quantity" in their now reduced parade schedule.  If I were Hugh Laurie-esque benevolent ruler of all Carnival, my decree would be that we aim for just the opposite.  Not every happening during the season needs to be a super-krewe.

What if, instead, there were more varied events; 'tit-Rexes and Chewbacchuses and the like in different parts of the city?  Better to have many smaller parades that roll through and enliven various neighborhoods than a limited number of standardized and marginally distinguishable parades along one heavily touristed route.

Update: Multiple routes might come in pretty handy over the next few years anyway.
The crape myrtle trees were the first to go. The king of Carnival could be next.

As part of a plan to improve drainage in Uptown New Orleans, workers this week began cutting down more than two dozen trees along a 10-block stretch of the Napoleon Avenue neutral ground.

The three-year construction project also may result in the rerouting of several Carnival parades in 2015 and 2016, a Police Department spokesman said Thursday.

1 comment:

Nolaresident said...

Yep, as a kid, I had an aunt and uncle who lived on Rampart and on M.G. day we would all head over there, secure a place on St. Claude Ave on the neutral ground and enjoy the parades. I recall it as being nice, as kids we could play around and then yell and beg for beads when the floats passed by. It was a great family time, no crowding and certainly then, no huge ladders taking up space.