The upstart Krewe of Freret that had hoped to join the Mardi Gras parade schedule this spring issued a statement Thursday suspending those plans because of what it termed a “misunderstanding” by the New Orleans Police Department, but said it has already begun work to roll for the first time in 2014.
For details, see the news release from the Krewe copied in full below:
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Krewe of Freret Shifts Momentum to 2014
NOPD claims date misunderstanding, Krewe to roll with it
The Krewe of Freret today announced the suspension of plans to parade in 2013 with a new focus on securing a riding permit for 2014 and hosting their 2013 black tie masquerade ball.
The Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Board, comprised of Orleans Parish Krewe Captains, an NOPD representative, and several other Mardi Gras notables, offered almost unanimous support for the Krewe of Freret to parade in 2013. Mardi Gras World was poised to provide double decker floats. Beads by the Dozen was ready to press the custom throws. Marching troupes and high school marching bands were requesting inclusion. Freret business owners were excited about the opportunity to bring back a tradition, and select Krewe Captains offered considerable support. A City Councilperson was willing to help amend the 2013 parade schedule to include Freret, pending approval of the NOPD.
Despite the lack of a definite parade date or time, the co-ed Krewe of Freret was still able to secure 100 fully paid riding members within four months. Without proper communication from NOPD during the four months since the Krewe submitted their parade permit application, however, time simply ran out.
The problem is, NOPD has not formally replied to the Krewe of Freret. Scott Hutcheson, Cultural Economy Advisor to the Mayor, stepped in to assist the Krewe of Freret and questioned the NOPD regarding lack of communication. It was said NOPD had stalled on the application because they thought it was for 2014, not 2013. Despite accepting a $750 application check for 2013, they apparently never analyzed the necessary impact of this proposed parade, an item required before approval. It seems Freret fell through the cracks.
“Regrettably, we tried multiple angles with the NOPD, willing to take any date, any time, with any extra stipulations or respectful considerations. We understand that the force is stressed with the Super Bowl, and we wanted to try and work out any necessary kinks. On multiple occasions, when Freret requested a status update, NOPD representatives would falsely reply, “Let me speak with my supervisor and get back with you.” If NOPD misinterpreted our application for 2014, then let’s all work to secure the permit so that this community backed parade can roll in 2014″, said Greg Rhoades, Krewe of Freret Captain.
“The Krewe of Freret was established to improve Carnival. We have the ideas, the know-how, and the desire to infuse new technology and encourage more participation. Krewe of Freret was established to help the community at large beyond throwing beads one day out of the year, and we’ve happily donated hundreds of hours of community service, plus participated in food and toy drives this year. I’m incredibly proud of our members and how far we have come in such a short time. We knew attempting to bring a new parade during Super Bowl hooplah was a long shot worth taking, and we’re going to build on this momentum to produce a spectacular parade in 2014! Help us continue marching towards our goal by joining the Krewe at our black-tie open bar ball on January 25th, open to the public for the first time.”
Krewe of Freret will continue their annual tradition of hosting a black tie masquerade ball with top notch entertainment. This year, the ball will be held inside the float den at Mardi Gras World on January 25th, with open bar tickets for $125. HUKA Entertainment, an award-winning festival and concert production company, is co-producing the ball.
A free public royal coronation ceremony will be held for 2013 Krewe of Freret Royalty at Royal Street and Elysian Fields Avenue (on the neutral ground), immediately preceding Krewe du Vieux on January 19th, 2013. Darryl “Dancingman504″ Young will oversee the coronation as Grand Marshal. Merriment will ensue.
Multiple 2013 membership levels exist to accommodate non-riders and VIP. The membership application is available to the general public. General Admission tickets are available for the ball, to be held at Mardi Gras World Eastbank.
About the Krewe of Freret:
The Krewe of Freret was established by seven recent Loyola graduates in late 2011 as a co-ed social organization that supports local industry, conducts service events that benefit the city at large, and preserves/enhances the longevity of the Mardi Gras tradition. Whereas the word ‘Freret’ was previously a division line amongst Tulane and Loyola young alumni, the Krewe of Freret unifies these enthusiastic young professionals and infuses new vigor into the Mardi Gras season while celebrating the continued revitalization of the Freret corridor. The Krewe of Freret aims to ride down St. Charles Avenue during Mardi Gras 2014. Learn more at http://www.KreweOfFreret.org/, http://facebook.com/KreweOfFreret, or http://twitter.com/KreweOfFreret
Follow Us On Twitter – http://twitter.com/KreweofFreret
Public Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/kreweoffreret
Members Only Facebook Group – http://www.facebook.com/groups/279788735401768/
Buy Merchandise – http://www.cafepress.com/kreweoffreret