NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Several carnival krewes and their leaders are gearing up for a return to their traditional routes. The mayor’s coordinating council reports significant progress in making it happen, but the security plan is not yet finalized.
When it comes to a carnival security plan, that will allow dozens of carnival krewes to return to their traditional routes, you might say the devil is literally, in the details.
‘We have not got the full word that we’re back but the way it looks right now is very good progress,’ said Parade Marshall Paul Leman.
Members of the mayor’s Mardi Gras Council put out a statement saying ‘significant progress has been made toward a safe restoration of traditional parade routes’, but a final agreement has not been completed, something which many await.
Organizers of uptown, carnival krewes are pleased that sheriff Susan Hutson has stepped up to coordinate carnival details, using her deputies and dozens of deputies from surrounding jurisdictions, to supplement the NOPD.
‘I’m praying that the parades are allowed to pass down Magazine St., for Mardi Gras,’ said St. Katherine Drexel Prep Principal Eric Smith.
Law enforcement from outside New Orleans will work closely with New Orleans police officers, who have now been told they will make at least $50-$75 an hour which was promised to the supplemental deputies, creating concern among NOPD officers.
“It is fundamentally unfair to have somebody come in and make twice your rate of pay do it probably less than you’re going to do and then ask you to supervise their work,” said Police Assn. of New Orleans Eric Hessler.
Ever since the Magazine Street portion of the parade route was shut down three years ago, schools like Saint Katharine Drexel Prep have lost out on parking lot, snack, and restroom, concessions which help keep the school in business.
“Mardi Gras is so important to our school and our budget,” Smith said.
Now, school officials and parade marshalls wait for the official word, that the old routes are back, so they can begin planning for parades, with many moving parts, and different start points.
To many people, returning to the old route, may not be that big of a deal, but for these krewes, and the people along the route, the old traditions mean a lot.
The city of New Orleans says the proposed carnival compensation initiatives are subject to approval by various parties, including the civil service commission and New Orleans city council. The civil service commission is scheduled to consider the pay plan tomorrow.
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