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.
Supporters of a greener Mardi Gras with throws that benefit the New Orleans economy are holding the “Throw Me Something Local: A Green Mardi Gras Ball” fundraiser on Thursday at NOLA Brewery. For details, see the news release below:
I Heart Louisiana, LifeCity, Stay Local! and NOLA Brewery are partnering to host a “Throw Me Something Local: A Green Mardi Gras Ball.” The event is on Thursday, February 20th, from 7pm-10pm, at NOLA Brewery (3001 Tchoupitoulas Street). The event is open to the public and has a suggested donation of $20, with proceeds benefiting local organizations working to green and localize Mardi Gras. Green attire and recycled costumes are encouraged, and a prize will be awarded to the best costume.
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. Jefferson Avenue
Two large cement silos were installed on Jefferson between Constance and Laurel so that contractors could test a “jet grouting” method of building a foundation for a major new drainage canal that will run under the neutral ground, effectively closing Jefferson between Magazine and the river for months. That work is now complete, and workers are now in the process of removing the obstructions from Constance to the river, said Ron Spooner of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans. Some of the equipment will be moved nearer to St. Charles Avenue for use later in the project, and some of it will be fenced off and moved closer to the tennis courts, officials said at an open house Monday night at the Latter Branch Library on St.
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. The final changes to the laws passed by the Council include:
All ladders must be placed six feet back from the curb. (Previously, ladders had to be set back as far as they were tall, a varying standard said to be difficult to enforce.)
No areas of the neutral ground or other public property can be roped off, or obstructed by any other means. No parking on either side of St.
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. New Orleans City Council – Jan. 23, 2014
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. During a hearing on the new laws before the City Council Economic Development and Special Projects committee on Tuesday, Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell said she would like to see language added to the ordinance prohibiting people from appropriating areas of the neutral ground during parades. “It shall be prohibited to use ropes or other similar items to create a barricade or otherwise obstruct passage along public property, unless otherwise specifically authorized,” will be added to the new ordinance, based on a 3-0 vote by Cantrell and City Councilwomen Stacy Head and Jackie Clarkson. The full ordinance will be discussed by the City Council on Jan. 23.
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. The proposed laws — which require ladders to be six feet back from the curb during parades and prohibit parking on both sides of St. Charles and Napoleon during parades, among other changes — will be given a new draft removing the item about toilet paper, according to City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s office. Toilet paper is a signature throw of the Krewe of Tucks, and news that a ban on it would be included in the ordinance drew quick opposition this week. The ordinances were introduced just prior to Thursday’s City Council meeting, but deferred until Jan.
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. In addition to being six feet back from the curb, “ladders, chairs, ice chests, chaise lounges, barbecue grills, and other similar personal effects” must be kept out of all intersections, according to the new ordinances being introduced by City Councilwomen LaToya Cantrell and Jackie Clarkson. Complaints about ladders obstructing the ability of other revelers to enjoy the parades or step back from oncoming floats, and concerns about the fall risk they pose to children, prompted Cantrell to lead discussions about the law over the last year. The current law requires them to be set back as far from the curb as they are tall, but that law has been criticized as difficult to enforce, since it varies from ladder to ladder. A uniform distance, by contrast, could be easily marked with signs on public property, clarifying the issue for the public, proponents of change have said.
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. The Phunny Phorty Phellows have their origin in a “an historic Mardi Gras organization that first took to the streets 1878 through 1898 … known for their satirical parades,” according to the organization’s website. The krewe was reborn in 1981, and their parade consists of a ride on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar that begins at the Willow Street barn at 7 p.m.
Twelfth Night (the 12th day after Christmas) marks the Catholic feast of the Epiphany, a celebration of the manifestation of the divinity of Christ through his baptism and other events.
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. Santa only delivers overnight on the 24th. Only. Never any other date. Always seven days later a new year is born. Always. Around the globe, for almost everyone. These things will not change. And they have happened this way for many moons and will continue to unfurl in this fashion with precision and expected regime until who can say. So pardon me if I get a little Cathy on the situation, tossing my hands in the air with frizzled hair. I need air. I need the sweet freedom that comes in the unconfined and less predictable. We do celebrate the seasons though. We exchange gifts and swill eggnog-based beverages with the best of them. But we may or may not reign in the Halloween spiders in time for St Nick (though they didn’t even leave the hall closet this year). The Mardi Gras wreath might still be on the door from last year (because it is). And a tree? Well, that changes every year too. Last year we actually purchased a real tree. The first one ever. Really. After years of makeshift fake ones or dressed up house plants. A real, room-sized, needle-shedding tree. And when we were poised to likely buy another this year from the same purveyor as last year (insert plug for Freret Garden Center here), they’d already sold out by the time we made it over to buy. So, we will try for a new tradition. We bought a handsome 4ft tall potted citrus tree instead, decorating it two nights ago, and on 12/26 that little green gem will go in the ground. And voila. We didn’t kill a tree, supported a local business (again), and will plant a fruit-bearing tree to boot. And I stayed sane doing it. Ta da!
But I can’t say I have the same handle on holiday music. Like hot curling irons in my earballs, I can only take so much, and that my friends is very, very little. Meanwhile my wife and kids are digging on endless renditions of Let It Snow, and I’m all cross-eyed in crisis mode. It just doesn’t end. No, to letting it snow. No no no. The weather outside is frightful. That is all. I was reared on the classics, performing with my Episcopalian grade school classmates each year a pageant of unparalleled proportions courtesy the hardest working music teacher in all of Southest Texas in the form of Mrs. Graham. One year I was even one of the wise men, and I brought frankincense. I mean, I was just trying to do my part. I don’t know. Maybe I spent all my holiday cheer in those year-in year-out pageants as a kid, and the repetitiveness wore me down. To be fair, Mrs. Graham was no one-trick pony, and more than once lured us in with contemporary secular piano-driven songs (though they are few). Can I get a Sister Christian? And God bless Night Ranger too. I suppose the takeaway here is holidays are what they are to whoever may celebrate them, though end-of-calendar-year festivities never seemed to have much wiggle room to me. But let’s revisit this topic in twelve months when I hope to have some rockin’ satsumas to share with the world, born from my 2013 Christmas tree. An annual fruit bearing Christmas tree planting? There must be worse traditions to adhere to, no? Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls.