Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Just squeeze everyone in along St. Charles

Carnival used to be a thing that happened in neighborhoods and suburbs almost as much as it did in the center of town.  Because it's an actual holiday and not a sponsored event it's an organic celebration that happens wherever people are observing it. 

In the past decade, that has begun to change.
The Krewe of Grela will not roll next year, leaving only the Krewe of NOMTOC in Algiers and the Mystic Knights of Adonis. Grela, which rolled in Gretna, simply didn't have enough support to justify the effort, captain Russell Lloyd said.

"It wasn't worth the bang for the buck," Lloyd said. "It takes a lot of money, not only by the organization, but a lot of money by the city to put on a parade. We just didn't have the support of the people to watch it."

After suspending its parade in 2012, Grela sought for three years to recruit truck floats, work with local businesses and try other approaches to attract larger crowds. But it couldn't compete with parades in Metairie and New Orleans, Lloyd said.

The krewes of Alla and Choctaw moved in 2013 and 2014 from the West Bank to Uptown, and parade-goers also have adjusted their Carnival customs in recent years. "The west bankers found spots on the east bank to watch the parades, and that's what they do now," Lloyd said.
And, of course, the more people from all over the metro area you try to cram along one standardized route already jammed with tourists, the less any of it feels like an organic neighborhood level experience.  Gets worse every year. 

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