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.

Jun 032013

Like the krewes of Choctaw and Cleopatra this past year, the Krewe of Alla will relocate next year from its home for the past few decades on the Westbank to the Uptown parade route in an effort to retain members, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV.

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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.

Mar 302013

Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell rides in the Krewe of Zulu on Mardi Gras day, 2013. Cantrell says she has been stopped on parade routes and thanked for her efforts to increase enforcement of parade-safety laws. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Sabree Hill)

New Orleanians could see clearer laws about the placement of ladders, more control over the locations of portable toilets, and more efforts to clear public spaces during and between Mardi Gras parades next year, based on a number of ideas Uptown residents discussed with their City Councilwoman on Saturday afternoon. Continue reading »

Mar 252013

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell speaks to the Bouligny Improvement Association in February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell — who took office just in time to get involved in the annual controversy about enforcement of city laws along Mardi Gras parade routes — will fulfill a promise for a more comprehensive review of changes that could be made next year this weekend, when she holds a public roundtable discussion on the issue. Continue reading »

Mar 132013

LaToya Cantrell

Residents of the Milan neighborhood who in recent years have witnessed ever-larger crowds of “wall-to-wall drunken teenagers” gathering on Amelia Street during Mardi Gras parades thanked the police officers and city councilwoman who brought the problem to an abrupt end this year. Continue reading »

Mar 112013

Owen Courreges

State Senator J.P. Morrell is not letting this go – nor should he.

A month ago, a video was released showing the detention of two young black males, Sidney Newman, 17, and Ferdinand Hunt, 18, by eight plainclothes state troopers.  The video, taken on February 10, 2013 just after a parade, shows the two teens leaning against a wall in the 700 block of Conti Street.   Suddenly they are surrounded by State Troopers.

One of the youths took a few steps away and was jumped, grabbed by his shirt and flung around to the ground.  The other is pushed up against a wall.  It was a very fast and violent confrontation between the teens and the troopers. Continue reading »

Feb 272013

City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell smiles as she takes notes on an issue raised by a member of the Bouligny Improvement Association on Wednesday evening. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The use of public space on the Mardi Gras parade routes improved slightly this year, City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said Wednesday night, but the city laws need to be reviewed starting now to make sure that less of the sidewalks and neutral grounds are unfairly co-opted by furniture, ropes and improperly-placed ladders. Continue reading »

Feb 222013

A woman was robbed on Laurel Street in the Irish Channel on her way home after the Bacchus parade last week, and police are now looking for the public’s help turning up any additional information that may lead them to an arrest in the case, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Feb 132013

The rain-geared tuba section of the Talladega College marching band pauses on Napoleon between raindrops during Orpheus Monday night. (Photo by Jean-Paul Villere for UptownMessenger.com)

So this Carnival wasn’t the sunniest, but at least it wasn’t the wettest (or coldest).  All told, it seemed to be a well attended, largely respectable gathering save for the obligatory Bourbon St shooting and other gun / parade infractions.  Unfortunate realities aside, personally my season rounded out into some a-has (3 involving my mother-in-law), otherwise just some observations worth noting: Continue reading »

Feb 122013

Members of Zulu parade down St. Charles Ave. Mardi Gras day. (Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

With the final day of Carnival mostly spared by rain yet again, the Krewe of Zulu greeted Uptown crowds early, followed by the Krewe of Rex’s presentation of “All Creatures Great and Small” to close out Fat Tuesday.

The Krewe of Rex “Dinosaur” float rolls on St. Charles Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Feb 112013

Harry Connick Jr. and actress Mariska Hargitay ride in the Orpheus parade.
(Sabree Hill, UptownMessenger.com)

A misty evening made for light crowds on the Uptown route, but the Krewe of Orpheus proudly presented a tribute to bygone krewes in “The Unseen New Orleans Carnival,” and the Krewe of Orpheus recalled its own themes from the past 20 years of “Rhythm, Rhyme and Revelry.”

The “Athenians” float in the Krewe of Proteus parade rolls up Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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