Uptown residents cut out of traditional Thoth route hope change is temporary

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A rainy start to Thoth Sunday didn’t stop Uptown revelers from keeping the party going, which is something they said was sorely missed after last year’s cancellation.

“We don’t care. We’ll be out here in the pouring rain,” said Julie Messa.

The return to the Uptown parade route did come with changes for 2022, including cutting out the first portion of the traditional Thoth route that usually starts at State and Tchoupitoulas streets and rolls in front of LCMC New Orleans Children’s Hospital.

Messa says her husband has been riding in the parade for decades and that making the procession visible to hospitalized children and others unable to attend elsewhere in the city is what makes Thoth special. She said it saddens them to have to skip that portion of the traditional route this year.

“It’s devastating, because Thoth is very much into the charities,” she said. “And one of their big things is passing by the Children’s Hospital, or Home of the Incurables. They look forward to that.”

Residents in the discontinued portion of the route placed signs in their yards signaling their disappointment, such as Dana Kimball, who says her husband works at Children’s Hospital and knows how important it is to the people in the neighborhood.

“Thoth (members) came down the street about a week and a half ago, to go to the Children’s Hospital, and you know they have the band and they throw the beads. And they had these signs, and I was happy to put one up,” said Kimball.

“We were really disappointed. We’re from up north, so Mardi Gras is new to us and the one year we had it, we’ve got the facility up the street, the nursing home. I saw them and just saw how much it meant to them to just be able to get out and be a part of it.”

City officials say the shortened routes are due to a police manpower shortage, but New Orleanians such as Messa and Kimball said they hope the change is only temporary.

“Oh yes, absolutely,” Kimball said. “To have one parade right here, where you can go in and out of your house, it’s pretty special.”

“I believe we’ll be back to normal next year,” said Messa. “We have faith.”

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Josh Roberson

Josh Roberson

Josh Roberson was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. After reporting at KSLA News 12, he set his focus on his favorite city of New Orleans. After falling in love with the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Big Easy from a young age, Josh knew it was eventually the place he would call home.