Jefferson Parish is all dressed up for Mardi Gras 2018.
Workers are putting the finishing touches on the Family Gras stage on the Veterans Boulevard neutral ground near Lakeside Shopping Center in Metairie.
Wednesday, the Krewe of Caesar, one of JP's largest parade organizations loaded beads and other throws on its floats.
Caesar's founder and Captain Bob Carnesi admits his krewe is struggling financially.
"I think all the Mardi Gras krewes in Jefferson need financial assistance because the costs have spiraled incredibly in the last 5 to 6 years," Carnesi said.
Carnesi says when his krewe got started 39 years ago, it cost about $100,000 to put on a parade.
Now, he claims it costs more than $800,000.
Wednesday, the parish council voted to give $25,000 subsidies each to Caesar and the Krewe of Centurions.
"Some council members are choosing to give money directly to krewes that will help their efforts," JP Council member Jennifer Van Vrancken said. "One of the things that I do is support the Rhythm on the Route band competition. So my office helps fund all of the winners."
JP President Mike Yenni said taxpayer money given to the krewes is well worth the price when you consider carnival has a $24 million dollar economic impact on the parish.
"So for the small amounts of money that the parish council has allocated to these krewes, to kind of help them out on those prime nights and prime weekends, we're seeing return on that investment," Yennis said. "Hotel occupancy in Jefferson Parish is up to 90 percent."
Carnesi says the Krewe of Caesar will use the subsidy to help cover the cost of marching bands.
"When I first started this, we could get a band for $500," Carnesi said. "Now you got to pay $2,500 for them."
Long term, Jefferson Parish wants to tweak the parade somewhat, possibly starting at Transcontinental and Veterans Boulevard and ending near Causeway and Veterans.
Right now, Metairie parades start at Clearview and disband at Martin Behrman.