The one map to explain why St. Charles will yet again be awful this #carnival season. I give you Mardi Gras, 1977: pic.twitter.com/6bUhuXSyIC— Jon Frosch (@jonfrosch) December 28, 2015
The consolidation of the parade routes was already happening gradually but it really began to accelerate after Katrina when our then two "Uptown" and "Downtown" routes on the East Bank of Orleans Parish shrunk down to the one Uptown route plus Endymion as a one-off for Mid-City.
In recent years, the situation has gotten even worse as more and more suburban parades move on to St. Charles. The result is a situation where what was once a regional celebration experienced in many venues in varies styles at different levels of intensity, is becoming one long monotonous event.
Worse, still, channeling everything onto St. Charles has made the Carnival experience there a more intensely tourist centered event than it has ever been. Meanwhile the notion that Carnival only happens in one part of the city only serves to further promote the notion that that part of town is itself a tourist zone. And so the rent goes up there. Airbnbs proliferate there. The whole thing becomes a self reinforcing stereotype.
Eventually we're left with an event staged only for visitors and relegated to a part of town where nobody actually lives. Is that what we want?