I have been going to Slidell for decades for parades, friends and clients. Slidell’s krewe of Claude is the first major parade of the Carnival season. It seemed after Katrina that Slidell’s growth was speeding to some sort of record. Welcome to the future, Slidell might be big but they are obviously suffering financial problems, as they are telling the local krewes to pay half of cleanup and security for their parades.

Only six of the eight krewes have to pay. These krewes share the main parade route. Digging a little deeper, sales tax revenues started dipping in 2007 and continued until 2010, the last figures released. It turns out that city and parade officials have been working on a new Mardi Gras ordinance for fifteen months, but it hasn’t been introduced and won’t be considered until after Carnival.

Meanwhile Mandeville recently waived billing its four Carnival krewes, which comes to approximately $70,000 in parade costs.

Slidell's Krewe of Claude Rolls 2011

Slidell's Krewe of Claude Rolls 2011

Krewe of Claude with LSU Football Team Members

Krewe of Claude with LSU Football Team Members Photo by Eliot Kamenitz, The Times-Picayune

There are other factors influencing this situation, such as the delayed opening of Slidell’s new municipal auditorium, the replacement for the trashed building caused by Hurricane Katrina. This forces the Slidell krewes to come up with a replacement site for this season’s balls. One ended up in a vacant food store, another is holding their ball after the season ends.

It seems someone needs to do an economic study of Slidell’s Mardi Gras krewes impact on the local economy to settle the big issue here, just how important the krewes are to the parish’s bottom line.

 

 

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