I’m a big fan of this parade tracker system, when you want to find the start of a parade that’s rolling or a parade stops for some reason.  How does the system operate?  WDSU puts a car near the front of the parades they cover. The car uses the GPS tracking system to pin point where the tracking car is, and relays that information to a computer, which texts that info to all opt in phones.  The system is a bit intrusive when you are already at a parade, catching throws and enjoying the sights and sounds of  of the event.  You constantly receive parade updates on your phone, when you don’t need them, as you are already parading. You could always opt out when at parade, and opt back in when you are searching for a parade on the street. However you might think this is a bit much opting in and out.

To get Parade Tracker updates  on your mobile phone, text “follow parades” to 40404. This is the second year for this service. If you opted in last year, you were automatically opted in for this year. For some parades, you can track the parade’s progress on WDSU.com, via a special map. The markers on the map show the location of the lead float in the parade, and they update every 10 seconds or 20 feet.

The biggest flaw in the system is they skip parades!  Babylon had to switch days because of bad weather. Could parade tracker keep up with parade rescheduling? NO.  No parade tracking for Babylon.  Earlier in the Carnival season, when some of the smaller parades roll, parade tracker opted not to cover the earlier parades.

Among the Orleans parades that WDSU opted not to track were Sparta and  Ponchartrain.

My thoughts on the inconsistent tracking is that if you are going to offer a parade tracking system, you should cover all the parades in an area.