All Carnival krewes will see route changes for 2022 Mardi Gras, Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Tuesday (Dec. 21).
The Magazine Street leg of many parade routes has been eliminated, she said at a press conference. Magazine Street — where neighbors gather for a more laid-back parade experience — is a favorite viewing spot for many Uptown residents.
The changes are necessary, officials said, because of staff shortages in the city’s public safety agencies, including the police, emergency medical and fire departments.
Parades that traditionally start on the river side of St. Charles Avenue will now start at Napoleon Avenue and Prytania Street. Parades that traditionally start on the lake side of St. Charles Avenue will start at Carondelet Street and Napoleon.
On Mardi Gras Day, Rex will start at Napoleon and Carondelet and then roll on its original route. The Zulu parade will begin on Jackson Avenue.
All krewes are asked to make sacrifices, Cantrell noted. Officials were able to accommodate most of the idiosyncratic routes of Zulu and Endymion, though both are taking a shorter path through the Central Business District.
One Uptown krewe with a famously idiosyncratic — and altruistic — route is the Krewe of Thoth, which presents a meandering daytime parade on the Sunday before Mardi Gras.
Thoth’s historic Uptown route was created to pass in front of 14 institutions, such as Children’s Hospital and the Lighthouse for the Blind, for people with disabilities and illnesses, people who are not able to experience Carnival parades on the streets and neutral grounds.
Penny Larsen, spokesperson for the Krewe of Thoth, issued the following statement on Tuesday:
“The Krewe of Thoth is very disappointed with the City of New Orleans that they would not give our route serious consideration since it passes Children’s Hospital and many Uptown facilities where we have brought a touch of Mardi Gras since 1947.
Thoth was never thought about in this decision as other Clubs were and it is a shame that these facilities and the people and businesses in Uptown New Orleans will suffer in this decision …”