NEW ORLEANS — It’s Carnival Time and for the first time in three years, everybody will be having fun along traditional, full parade routes in New Orleans.
“What we’re seeing from neighboring parishes and those commitments that have come our way, yes sir, we will be returning to our routes, traditional routes,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.
Parades were originally shortened again this year because of ongoing manpower issues at the NOPD.
Carnival krewes in the city worked with the mayor’s office and Orleans Criminal Sheriff Susan Hutson to bring in supplemental law enforcement officers to secure Mardi Gras parade routes.
Their goal was 150 officers.
The mayor said they are now expected to exceed that number.
She confirmed both Thoth and Muses will be back on Magazine Street.
“All parades will return to their traditional routes, that includes those that you mentioned, yes sir,” Cantrell said. “A more robust announcement will be forthcoming.”
Muses parade captain Staci Rosenberg said she’s thankful to be back on Magazine Street where the parade is expected to once again step off at Jefferson Avenue.
“We were hopeful and optimistic but definitely not counting any chickens until today,” Rosenberg said. “We’re really just thrilled.”
Thoth is now set to start near Children’s Hospital, then proceed down Magazine to Napoleon Avenue.
It will pass right in front of Le Bon Temps Roule, a popular Uptown bar.
“It’s exciting,” Joe Bikulege, Le Bon Temps’ manager said. “I know my employees are already starting to call and asking for their schedules.”
A return to traditional parade routes is expected to throw businesses and parade goers in the city, something they’ve been missing.
“The businesses, it’s going to be a well-needed shot in the arm to help us out after three years of no parades,” Bikulege said.
“It’s kind of a signal to the whole world that we’re back, New Orleans is back, Mardi Gras is back and we’re going to be fully functioning this year,” Rosenberg said.
The out-of-town police officers will be paid by the city, $50 an hour before Fat Tuesday and $75 an hour on Mardi Gras.