Carnival season is almost here: Twelfth Night just days away

Big changes due to several challenges affect all Krewes in 2022
Mardi Gras challenges
Mardi Gras challenges
Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 10:38 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Carnival is finally just around the corner. Thursday is Twelfth Night and krewes are hard at work preparing to kick off the season.

“Our role is to announce the beginning of Carnival, we are the heralds of Carnival, if you will,” Phunny Phorty Phellows Captain, Peggy Scott Laborde said.

Krewes like Phunny Phorty Phellows, Uptown, and the Société Des Champs Elysée in the Marigny, usually take to the street cars to kick it all off on Twelfth Night, but this year no Krewe has gone untouched by several challenges facing the city.

The most notable is the public safety staff shortages forcing route changes.

READ MORE Mardi Gras parade routes modified to ‘maximize public safety’

The Krewe of Thoth has made their disappointment known to the City, losing 28 blocks and cutting out part of why the Krewe was even created in 1947, to pass by the children’s hospital and other institutions with people who can’t get out to see a parade.

READ MORE Some Magazine Street businesses disappointed by parade route changes

Every krewe has to adapt in some form or fashion.

“We still don’t get to ride on the street car this year,” Société Des Champs Elysée Captain, David Roe said.

It’s been three years that Roe has to forgo the ride because of the Hard Rock collapse and all the construction interfering with the RTA’s lines.

“We don’t get to ride like the nice Uptown people do, but we’re going to have our ball, we’re going to go for our little walk through the neighborhood like we do every year,” Roe said.

The Phunny Phorty Phellows do get to ride the historic St. Charles line, but construction has shortened the ride and COVID is preventing revelers from entering the street car barn where it all kicks off.

“As much as we love having everybody come to the street car barn, you really have to think about that And I don’t believe that the RTA will allow them to come in per se, but they’ll be to be outside on the street, Safely distanced, that’s very, very important,” Scott Laborde said.

READ MORE Krewe of Boo has to skip Canal Street due to police shortage, City says

The City is requiring all riders either be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test. PPP is masking their Krewe and asking them to get vaccinated. Krewe of Muses is requiring it of their riders, or else they won’t be able to participate.

Roe has gone even further for his Krewe’s ball Thursday night.

“Not only do you get a KN95 mask at the door, but through the New Orleans Musicians Clinic, we got 120 self swab tests,” Roe said. “So you will swab yourself at the door and 15 minutes later, you either get to come in or you go sit here on the porch around the corner. We’re doing everything to be safe.”

These diehards will do anything to “laissez les bon temps roulez”.

“So ready for Carnival, it almost hurts,” Roe said.

Société Des Champs Elysée will also continue it’s tradition of handing out gift bags and stuffed backpacks full of essential supplies, as well as some goodies to the people experiencing homelessness in their neighborhood on Thursday.

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