NEW ORLEANS — New Orleanians and their guest who planned on seeing the first parade since early 2020 might have to find a new spot to watch the Krewe of Boo.
The Halloween parade route has been shortened due to a lack of police officers, a report from The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate said Friday night.
The parade route usually includes Canal Street, but instead, the parade route will only cross the major roadway.
This isn't the first parade route adjustment considered by krewes and city officials.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the Mardi Gras Council have been considering consolidating all parade routes to a single route, down Napoleon and St. Charles Avenue.
"We have concerns regarding the bandwidth and capacity of our first-responders, who have been under intense strain throughout the pandemic," the statement said. "When Mardi Gras comes back, we want to do it in the safest way possible: in terms of public health and in terms of public safety."
A statement from the mayor's office on Thursday said the consideration comes from capacity issues.
Everything from supplies to the number of emergency employees is low.
"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.
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's about a public safety team, it's about having the necessary resources on the ground," said Mayor Cantrell.
If measures are successful in preventing a spike in COVID-19 case numbers from the parade, the city will move forward with the 2020 Mardi Gras Season.
“This is your chance to work with us to preserve our culture, our health, or way of life,” said city health director Dr. Jennifer Avegno.
Avegno said spectators and participants will be asked to take surveys before, during, and after the parade to monitor any COVID transmission. Avegno said high vaccination rates, low virus levels and COVID requirements can make all the difference.
“This is how we save Carnival 2022, altogether, pitching in,” Avegno said.
Krewe Captain Brian Kern said vaccines or a negative COVID test are required for all parade participants and urges common sense for folks along the parade route.
“We’re doing everything we can,” Kern said. “I know it’s going to work out well. I have no doubt.”
The only thing the chief spookster wants folks to catch, is a little bit of happiness.
“You’re going to catch all the great things, Aunt Sally’s Pralines, Elmer’s Chee Wees, MoonPie minis, PJ’s coffee, and cups,” Kern said. “I’m glad it’s happening. The city is so ready for it."