NEW ORLEANS — Cries of “throw me something, mister” aren’t usually heard in New Orleans East, but that’s about to change.

The new Krewe of Nefertiti will make its debut next year, bringing a Carnival parade back to the area for the first time in nearly three decades.

Plans have been in the works for close to a year, said City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, who represents New Orleans East.

“Let me tell you, after eight months of collaboration with the Mardi Gras Committee, with the (Cantrell) administration, with the Krewe of Nefertiti, it makes great sense for the Krewe of Nefertiti to ride in the East,” Nguyen said.

The 200-member, all-female krewe is made up largely of women from the East.

“It was just a no-brainer for us to get together and form this krewe,” said Dana Perry, a founding board member and longtime New Orleans East resident.

The krewe was actually born as a subkrewe of the Krewe of Freret. The goal was always to grow enough to get to this point, said Kathleen Padian, another founding board member.

“This was always the hope to bring Mardi Gras to other communities, particularly New Orleans East,” Padian said.

Nguyen said a chief concern she had was spreading public-safety resources too thin during Carnival season.

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The krewe will roll at 11 a.m. on Feb. 9, earlier than most other parades. Nguyen said the crew will also cover the cost of police, sanitation and other measures usually covered by the city.

The parade will begin at Bullard Avenue and Lake Forest Boulevard, travel up Lake Forest to Read Boulevard, take a left on Read, U-turn at Chef Menteur Highway and disband near Joe Brown Park.

The route is a throwback of sorts. While many parades in New Orleans -- and even many from Jefferson Parish -- have moved to the St. Charles Avenue route, Nefertiti will be more of a family affair, rolling through a neighborhood.

The last time a parade rolled through the East was 1992 when the Krewe of Minerva disbanded after 16 years. Six years earlier, the all-female Krewe of Selena stopped parading. And while the Krewe of Pontchartrain got its start in New Orleans East, it eventually moved to the Uptown route.

A parade returning to the streets of New Orleans East is something of a throwback to a time when parades were smaller and took place across the city in different neighborhoods. It was more of a family feeling.

Perry hopes to rekindle some of that with Nefretiti.

I remember the parades going down Hayne Boulevard,” she said. “Our grandmothers would sit outside in their chairs. They would be on the porch and then we would all just be together sharing opportunities together to catch beads.”


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