Feb 252014
 

St. Charles Avenue homeowners are allowed by the city to fence in landscaping they create between the sidewalk and the street to protect them from Mardi Gras parade goers, but nearby residents say too many new landscaping projects and fences are cropping up this year, restricting where the public can watch, according to a report by Meg Farris of our partners at WWL-TV. City officials say only one new fencing permit was issued this year, at Constantinople Street, but Farris pointed to other plots that are fenced in without any apparent landscaping.

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Feb 102014
 
The silos blocking Jefferson Avenue near Constance will be moved in time for Mardi Gras parades, officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The silos blocking Jefferson Avenue near Constance will be moved in time for Mardi Gras parades, officials say. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Crowds pack the corner of Magazine and Jefferson during the Okeanos parade in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Crowds pack the corner of Magazine and Jefferson during the Okeanos parade in 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

The Corps giveth and the Corps taketh away: The large structures blocking Jefferson Avenue near Magazine Street are in the process of being moved in time for Mardi Gras parades to make their usual turns around that corner, but soon afterward a four-block stretch of Prytania will close for about a year, officials said Wednesday. Continue reading »

Jan 242014
 
Fake cigars are a traditional throw during the Krewe of Zulu parade. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill, Feb. 13, 2013)

Fake cigars are a traditional throw during the Krewe of Zulu parade. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill, Feb. 13, 2013)

After a year of discussion and a month of revisions, the New Orleans City Council met very little opposition Thursday morning to a series of changes to crowd behavior during Mardi Gras parades — including a six-foot setback for viewing ladders and a prohibition on roping off the neutral ground or placing private portable toilets on public property.

But one community activist running for City Council urged the city to take an additional step: banning smoking during the parades. Continue reading »

Jan 232014
 

The New Orleans City Council is scheduled to discuss the proposed changes to the laws surrounding Mardi Gras parades, including a six-foot setback between ladders and the curb and a prohibition on roping off the neutral ground.

See below for live coverage.

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Jan 142014
 
City Council members Jackie Clarkson (left) and LaToya Cantrell present proposed changes to the city's Mardi Gras ordinances on Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Council members Jackie Clarkson (left) and LaToya Cantrell present proposed changes to the city’s Mardi Gras ordinances on Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A New Orleans City Council committee is recommending a ban on roping off areas of the neutral ground during parades be added to a list of changes to the city’s Mardi Gras laws, they said Tuesday morning. Continue reading »

Jan 102014
 
Toilet paper flies from the Krewe of Tucks' "Expelling the Culture" float in 2012. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Toilet paper flies from the Krewe of Tucks’ “Expelling the Culture” float in 2012. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A set of new laws concerning conduct during Mardi Gras parades will not ban toilet paper from being thrown from floats, in a change from a draft of the laws introduced by the City Council earlier this week. Continue reading »

Jan 082014
 
Ladders form a backdrop to the Krewe of Proteus on Napoleon Avenue in 2012. A proposed new law would require all ladders be six feet back from the curb. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Ladders form a backdrop to the Krewe of Proteus on Napoleon Avenue in 2012. A proposed new law would require all ladders be six feet back from the curb. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

All Mardi Gras ladders must be kept at least six feet back from the curb during parades, and may not be chained together, under a set of new laws being introduced this week before the New Orleans City Council. Continue reading »

Jan 032014
 
The Phunny Phorty Phellows prepare to leave from the streetcar barn on Willow on their Twelfth Night ride through Uptown New Orleans in January 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Phunny Phorty Phellows prepare to leave from the streetcar barn on Willow on their Twelfth Night ride through Uptown New Orleans in January 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Children play a layer of snow covering the front lawn of Loyola University in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Children play a layer of snow covering the front lawn of Loyola University in December 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

On Monday, the Twelfth Night tradition of the Phunny Phorty Phellows streetcar ride to mark the start of Carnival season that dates back to 1878 will this year pass by a slightly newer annual event, the “Sneaux” at Loyola winter celebration. Continue reading »

Dec 252013
 

Jean-Paul Villere

Each year, the winter holiday season always finds me greeting it with fidgety awkwardness.  Why?  For one, the holidays are completely unavoidable.  For two, they’re always rigidly defined.  And for three, the expectations can mash into dizzying highs but swiftly sail into cavernous lows.  These things might be what draws me so closely to Carnival, as Mardi Gras remains fairly avoidable, it changes timelines every year, and no one really cares throughout its discourse anyway.  Miss a parade?  Fine.  Wanna skip town altogether?  No big.  Do whatcha wanna is more than a new ad campaign for Touro.  It remains a relatively new staple in the Fat Tuesday song cannon courtesy of none other than the Rebirth Brass Band.  And God bless ‘em and the song, because for me, it sums it up.  But personal preferences on Christmas and New Year’s?  Not so much. Continue reading »

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Dec 172013
 
City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks at her first re-election fundraiser on Oct. 9. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

After qualifying for the Feb. 1 city elections ended last week, LaToya Cantrell is the only member of the New Orleans City Council without a re-election battle on her hands.

With her first full four-year term ahead of her, Cantrell said this week that she can give all her focus to her priorities — blight and housing issues, crime and public safety, and, most immediately, revisions to the city’s Mardi Gras parade rules. Continue reading »

Nov 242013
 
 Families navigate around the construction area on Napoleon Avenue to clamor for beads from the Krewe of Carrollton in January 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Families navigate around the construction area on Napoleon Avenue to clamor for beads from the Krewe of Carrollton in January 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

While it may be difficult to imagine Mardi Gras floats navigating around the cranes and construction fences that dominate an ever-growing swath of Napoleon Avenue, officials say the site should be secure in time for the coming year’s parades to pass without disruption.

As the construction zone grows past St. Charles Avenue in the next year, however, Carnival season in 2015 is expected to bring some changes. Continue reading »

Sep 212013
 

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell rides in the Krewe of Zulu on Mardi Gras day, 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell rides in the Krewe of Zulu on Mardi Gras day, 2013. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

The changes to the laws surrounding Mardi Gras parades that some New Orleans residents have sought for years may soon become a reality, as City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell prepares to release a sweeping set of recommendations based on months of input from neighbors. Continue reading »

Aug 302013
 
Fat Harry's kitchen manager Jean-Paul Martin prepares a sandwich on Friday afternoon, the first lunch served in the bar since it was destroyed by fire after Hurricane Isaac. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Fat Harry’s kitchen manager Jean-Paul Martin prepares a sandwich on Friday afternoon, the first lunch served in the bar since it was destroyed by fire after Hurricane Isaac. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Patrons line the bar for a Fat Harry's lunch on Friday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Patrons line the bar for a Fat Harry’s lunch on Friday afternoon. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

It has taken a year — 362 days, to be exact, since a devastating fire following Hurricane Isaac — but landmark St. Charles Avenue bar Fat Harry’s reopened its kitchen Friday in preparation for a grand reopening party on Sunday. Continue reading »

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Jun 262013
 

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who has been spearheading a review of the city’s Mardi Gras ordinances, said she is open to exploring the idea of changing the parade schedule to include routes other than St. Charles Avenue, according to a report by Monica Hernandez of our partners at WWL-TV.

“It’s maybe reaching out to other neighborhoods to see who is interested in taking on the load,” Cantrell said. “Again, you don’t want to make those decisions that will involve and have an impact on neighborhoods without engaging them in the discussion.”

Jun 182013
 

With more Mardi Gras krewes moving to the St. Charles Avenue route, a series of proposals would return the celebration to its neighborhood routes by “bolstering an alternative major parade route in Mid-City, working with Jefferson and the other parishes to coordinate regional parade schedules, adjusting regulations to allow neighborhoods to hold much smaller Mardi Gras Krewe processions, and encouraging those neighborhoods to form ‘Krewes of their own’, something between marching clubs and small float processions,” according to a recent article by Christoper Tidmore for the Louisiana Weekly.

Jefferson Parish officials would be enthusiastic about having a night or two more focused on their parades, Tidmore writes, suggesting that they might help with some Orleans Parish parade-route enforcement on other nights in exchange, a potentially attractive option as the multi-million dollar bill for the federal NOPD consent decree looms.

The proposals may be timely, as City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell spends the year brainstorming potential changes to the city’s Mardi Gras ordinances.

Apr 032013
 

The all-female Krewe of Cleopatra moved its parade from the Westbank to the Uptown route in 2013, and the all-male Krewe of Alla may follow suit. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

The Krewe of Alla — which this year paraded 24 floats through Gretna but takes its name from an abbreviation of Algiers, La. — needs 200 paid riders by June 1 or it will seek to move to the Uptown route, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV. The all-male krewe was founded in 1932 and “traditionally presents the largest parade on the West Bank,” according to Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide.