NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says all major Mardi Gras parades will be able to return to their traditional routes.
The city has secured an extra 150 officers needed to return crews to their original routes, Mayor Cantrell said in a press conference on Wed., Jan. 25.
“Based on the work going forward and the deployment of strategies going out, we will be in a position for our krewes to return to their traditional routes in the city of New Orleans,” Mayor Cantrell said. “Also working with the sheriff’s office and the sheriff’s association. They will provide, of course, the vehicle of funding and much-needed outside law enforcement.”
Mayor Cantrell said more details would be released soon.
Uncertainty has loomed over whether the major parades will be allowed to march along their traditional routes.
The news is expecially welcome for the Krewe of Thoth, which will once again pass by Children’s Hospital, the POydras Home, and the Lighthouse for the Blind for the first time in three years.
Cantrell says the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security has declared Carnival a “Sear 2″ event, meaning the city will be getting additional resources to asses cyber risks, air security, and explosive detecting canines.
YOUR CARNIVAL AUTHORITY
Originally, Mayor Cantrell tasked the krewes with outsourcing enough law enforcement officers to properly secure their routes. Krewes scrambled to find adequate security, but only the massive Krewe of Endymion was able to accomplish that.
Orleans Parish Sheriff Susan Hutson says she manned the phone for two weeks, inquiring about and acquiring enough deputies from sheriff’s offices around the state to secure traditional parade routes, which were abbreviated by a dozen blocks in some cases in 2022 because of the city’s loss of police officers.
Members of the mayor’s Mardi Gras Council recently put out a statement saying “significant progress has been made toward a safe restoration of traditional parade routes,” but a final agreement had not been completed. Until now, it was unclear which krewes would get to roll down their traditional routes.
Cantrell also says New Orleans police officers will be paid at least $75 an hour to work Carnival, as is promised to incoming security committed to helping restore the routes.
City officials on Monday extended the deadline to find security, citing a cooperative agreement with Sheriff Hutson’s office to provide payment for outside law enforcement.
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