NEW ORLEANS — Thursday evening the Mayor's Mardi Gras Advisory Council announced that revelers can expect shortened parade routes for Carnival 2023, similar to the routes used in 2022.
According to our partners at NOLA.com, the City said it's due to the lack of NOPD manpower.
NOLA.com reports that not every route will remain exactly the same as in 2022. Officials at the meeting said some minor tweaks could still be to come.
Last year, krewes accepted the news of changes to parade routes, and were simply excited to roll after being canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19.
At that time, NOPD Supt. Shaun Ferguson said the changes weren't permanent.
"This is something we will have to take a look at every year," Ferguson said in 2021.
Bobby Hjortsberg, captain of the Krewe of Freret, said they saw the modified routes for Carnival 2023 coming.
"I mean obviously we're disappointed. You want to be out; you know we spend so much time planning the event and parades that you want to be out there as long as possible," Hjortsberg said, "But it's not completely unexpected based on the things the City is facing right now with the police force."
Last year all parades starting Uptown began on Napoleon and Prytania or Napoleon and Carondelet before heading down St. Charles Ave. The routes avoided Magazine Street.
While the route won't impact the Krewe of Freret as much, they're expecting other krewes and local businesses to feel the impact.
"It really doesn't effect us in the same way that it does other krewes that have a lot of tradition built into the places they're passing along the way," Hjortsberg said, "It does have a serious effect though on all the businesses along the route that are not getting the same attention that they would've under different circumstances where we would've rode a normal route."
Chairman James Reiss III announced the news Thursday at a Mayor's Mardi Gras Advisory Council meeting, according to our partners at NOLA.com.
“I know we don’t like the shortened routes," Reiss said, "but if we can work independently with the NOPD to make sure that your individual krewe is doing what it needs to be doing to be safe around that route, it’s very much appreciated by the Police Department and by the city that we do that.”