SLIDELL, La. - The first parade of the Mardi Gras season is set to roll in just four weeks. But the Carnival experience on the Northshore is facing big changes this year, including some parades not even rolling.
The Krewe of Claude in Slidell is one of two, so far, that won’t be rolling because of a drop in the economy and membership. The other is the original Krewe of Orpheus in Mandeville.
"It hurt, it really hurt because everybody I talked to, they're disappointed," said Mary Ann Hicks, president of the Krewe of Claude. "The community is disappointed."
The Krewe of Lyra avoided the disappointment of canceling by switching from Mandeville to Covington and opening up membership to men.
"We do welcome men in the community to be in our ranks and to come have fun with us,” said Krewe of Lyra Captain Mary Grace Knapp, “The theme this year is girls and guys just want to have fun, so we're very inclusive."
The young Slidell Krewe of Titans made financial changes within to make sure it rolls, and keeps growing.
"Putting our krewe on the street basically because our members want to ride in a Mardi Gras parade,” said Krewe of Titans Vice President Rob Higgins, “They're gonna do whatever they have to to participate."
Regardless of the changes to Mardi Gras on the Northshore this year, everyone believes the public will still let the good times roll.
"The parades that are rolling I think are going to put on a great show and I hope the others that aren't riding this year or are not going to participate will be able to reorganize and get back on their feet next year," Higgins said.
About 20 krewes are expected to roll on the Northshore between January 26 and Mardi Gras Day. All but six of those have confirmed their plans with the cities they will ride in, as well as the law enforcement agencies that are involved in security for parades.
Both krewes that have canceled this year say they plan on being back next year and are actively recruiting new members right now.