It was an inauspicious start for the Krewe of Caesar.
"I had four of my friends at a Jazz basketball game and we decided a halftime to start a Mardi Gras krewe, and they elected me captain,” Bob Carnesi recalled Wednesday.
And just like that, he began a four-decade-long run as the captain of Caesar, which became one of Metairie’s most popular and colorful parades.
But now it's the latest addition to the ain't dere no more list. Carnesi announced Wednesday that the parade will roll no more.
He blamed the decision on recent route changes and dwindling ridership.
“Unfortunately in Jefferson, the memberships are declining in every club,” he said.
Lawrence Chehardy, captain of the Krewe of Argus, said his club’s numbers are fine, but he worries about other krewes.
"All of the krewes have this problem with getting riders," he said.
One idea to attract more riders, he said, could be to schedule several krewes a night.
"If you do that, then it makes it more exciting for riders, and I think that would help krewes get more riders,” Chehardy said.
He said St. Charles Avenue is an easier sell for riders than Veterans Highway.
"My concern is I don't want this to be the first domino to fall and then hit the next domino," he said.
Others are more bullish on things.
"Carnival in Jefferson Parish is thriving at this point,” said Greg Buisson, who produces Family Gras. He said that while he’s sorry to see Caesar go, other krewes are already lining up to take its place.
"Losing Caesar is disappointing, but it will be replaced quickly and it really will not have any impact on Jefferson Parish Mardi Gras," he said.
And with Caesar out of the picture, it frees up the coveted Saturday night spot. That could open up a lot of competition for it.
The Krewe of the Magical Madhatters, Jefferson Parish's newest krewe, has already asked the parish to consider his club for the spot next year for its inaugural roll.
"It's big shoes to fill, and I recognize the responsibility and we're up for it,” said Joey Lacoste, who founded the krewe with his wife. “We're up for the challenge."
While Caesar will no longer parade, the krewe will still continue its social and charitable events.