After months of planning for a big boost in business they learned Monday that Krewe du Vieux will cut out portions of Decatur Street and Frenchmen Street this year.
On Tuesday, owners met to discuss how they would move forward in hopes that the city and krewe might change their minds and include their streets.
Tom Thayer, the owner of d.b.a along Frenchmen Street said “They dropped the route six days out. Can it change four days out? We are hoping it can.”
The parade is set to roll Saturday night starting at 6:30 p.m. Thayer said he has been preparing for the day for months.
“Literally many of the bars along Frenchmen and Decatur were built for Krewe du Vieux. My club has been open for 23 years. We’ve grown with Krewe du Vieux,” Thayer said.
Thayer and other owners said it would be a huge economic loss. Jesse Paige owns the music venue Blue Nile and said he has already rented out his balcony and hired additional staff for the only weekend his venue can actually make money during Carnival Time. He said he will lose at least $10,000 on Saturday alone.
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“Most every parade takes the people away from us, which we understand parades are the event. But this is the one time we have the parades in front of us. This is the one night when we are able to pay our bills,” said Paige.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced parades would return to their traditional routes Monday. City leaders said walking parades such as Krewe du Vieux and Krewe Delusion do not fall under that Mardi Gras ordinance. Still, for those banking on the weekend, they are hoping for a resolution.
“It’s more about the principal. It’s like, why are the clubs that have employed so many people, that have dealt with so much over the last few years, why all of a sudden six days out, and the rug is pulled out from under us?” said Thayer.
City leaders said the Mardi Gras ordinance only applies to parades that fall within the last two weeks of Carnival Season.
We did reach out to the city. Officials tell WDSU they worked with the krewe to settle on this year’s route.
Krewe du Vieux cited traffic disruptions as the reason for the changes. They released this statement on Facebook:
“After lengthy negotiations with NOPD, this was the best compromise we could get to that allows us to parade through both the Marigny and the French Quarter while remaining on the interior neighborhood streets rather than being pushed throughout the major thoroughfares.”
The parade route is as follows:
Line-up on Homer Plessy – Parade down Royal Street to Toulouse- Left on Toulouse- Right on Decatur- Decatur/North Peters/Tchoupitoulas down to Andrew Higgins- Left on Andrew Higgins to Sugar Mill