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Possible changes coming to Mardi Gras parade routes

So the mayor and the Mardi Gras council are considering putting all parades on the same route, down Napoleon and St. Charles avenue.

NEW ORLEANS — The beads, the music, the crowd, Mardi Gras 2022 may come to life with all of the old charm, but with a few changes.

"Everybody was having a great time, sales were up, it was amazing," said Lakesha Reed, a New Orleans native and restaurant owner.

Those are memories of Mardi Gras past.

Due to the COVID pandemic, it's still unknown if it'll even happen.

If it does, there could be changes to parade routes.

"In order for us to have large-scale events in the City of New Orleans, we have to make sure that we can protect all of our residents as well as our visitors," said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Everything from supplies to the number of emergency employees is low.

So the mayor and the Mardi Gras council are considering putting all parades on the same route, down Napoleon and St. Charles Avenue.

"It's about a public safety team, it's about having the necessary resources on the ground," said Mayor Cantrell.

"It goes well beyond public safety. It's about our ability necessary capacity, those human resources deployed along the routes but also prior to and after a parade," the Mayor said.

That could mean you won't be watching the Krewe of Thoth on State Street or screaming for beads from the Zulu Krewe on Jackson Avenue.

It is the same case for the Krewe of Rex.

Not only will you not see Endymion on the large stretch of Canal, a major New Orleans street, but their route will not be what brings patrons to businesses on that street.

"For it not to happen is still a big disappointment and for the pockets and for the business it's majorly disappointing. We're here, we're surviving. But, barely," Reed said.

Reed is the owner of Beaucoup Eats on Canal and when we asked if she thought customers would still stop by the restaurant she simply said, no.

"It's going to be where ever you get the rules, where ever you feel like it's safe because you got the rules that where people are going to be it's not like our traditional Mardi Gras," she said.

Down the street is Up and Adam Eats. This will be their first Mardi Gras.

"Definitely in hopes that the City of New Orleans would keep the parade route the same so that Up and Adam Eats could be a part of that venture," said Jennifer Frizzell, Up and Adam Eats co-owner.

Hopes are high but with all eyes currently on Krewe of Boo, a test run for Mardi Gras 2022, only time will tell.

"People are just looking for something that's familiar for them. So don't take away the route. Like give us something," Reed said.

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