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Krewe of Boo kicks off Halloween with its traditional parade route this Saturday

“We have ample police officers to make the parade happen on its full route this year,” says Brian Kern. “Hope they don’t cut me. You never know.”

NEW ORLEANS — The Krewe of Boo is set to kick off Saturday night in New Orleans. 

The annual Halloween spooktacular hasn’t rolled on its traditional route since 2018. 

The Hard Rock building collapse shortened the parade route in 2019, Covid-19 canceled Boo in 2020, and last year, the parade was forced to ditch the canal street leg at the last minute. 

Not enough off-duty police officers signed up to work the paid parade security detail. 

Head Spookster Brian Kern started early to make sure that would not be the case again this year. 

He said about half of the 90 officers needed to work the parade are now coming from police agencies outside the city. 

“We have ample police officers to make the parade happen on its full route this year,” Kern said. “Hope they don’t cut me. You never know.” 

Kern admits the parade’s security costs have skyrocketed. 

“They’re coming from local departments, other police departments in the area. They’re all licensed police officers,” Kern said. 

Some businesses along the Krewe of Boo route are already getting ready for the parade’s arrival. 

One of the official viewing locations is Lucy’s on Tchoupitoulas Street. 

“It’s a full-fledged Mardi Gras parade in October.,” Lucy’s GM James Williford said. “You know as well as I do, there’s no better weather on the planet than October in New Orleans.” 

In past years, the parade has attracted thousands of revelers to the Warehouse District. 

Williford says with Canal Street back in play, this year could be a banner year for the event. 

“It’s an awesome time. It’s not too cold. It’s perfect. You have all floats. People got their costumes on. People are going absolutely nuts and it’s a great time.” 

Krewe of Boo organizers predict New Orleans Mardi Gras krewes may have to eventually line up and pay for some of their own security as well, until the New Orleans Police Department can hire more officers. 

“It’s kind of the new normal, unfortunately and hopefully as years progress, a few years from now, we’re back where we need to be,” Kern said. “It needs to get resolved.”     

This year the Krewe of Boo will have 14 floats, about 500 riders throwing cups, Moon Pies, Elmer’s Chee-Wees and t-shirts and there is expected to be more than 35 marching units. 

The parade steps off at 6:30 Saturday night. 

It starts on Elysian Fields, then moves through the French Quarter on North Peters and Decatur, then down Canal to Burgundy where it makes a U-turn. It then heads up Tchoupitoulas to Andrew Higgins. 

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