Krewe of Thor Emblem

Krewe of Thor Emblem

Jefferson Parish’s Carnival is downsizing and changing for the worse in the last couple of years- one of the oldest krewes in Jefferson, the venerable Krewe of Thor, won’t parade in 2014, their 40th anniversary. Earlier this year, another old line Jefferson parade, Grela, called it quits. Jefferson Parish parades on both sides of the Mississippi River have been struggling even before these parades cancelled. It seems Jefferson parades are on a suicide march.

Grela Cloisonne Doubloon

Grela Cloisonne Doubloon

A new parade, the Guardians of Atlantis, won’t roll either. Membership concerns was the reason given.

Last year, some Carnival krewes in Metairie were fined for violating parade ordinances enforced for the first time.

“I was shocked. I felt like it was a slap in the face,” Krewe of Thor captain McKinley Cantrell said.

Cantrell, a 38-year captain and president of the Krewe of Thor, which was founded in 1974, said his krewe has been fined $400 for violating an ordinance prohibiting unmasked riders. The citation states that 60 of the krewe’s 500 riders did not follow the rules.

“I don’t have any control. I don’t have any control over that,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell said at least three Carnival krewes in Jefferson Parish were cited for violating parade ordinances. The Krewe of Atlas was fined $600 for two violations, member Daniel Murray said.

Smoking a joint on the float. The second violation is somebody on the float threw beads soaked in vomit, Murray said. That is really disgusting, they should have locked up the rider who threw vomit soaked beads.

There’s probably a link between last year’s fines and Thor throwing in the towel.

I cannot agree with Cantrell’s statement that he cannot control his members masking or not. If the Captain tells his membership to mask or else, they will mask. Orleans krewe members mask because there are well known penalties for disobeying. The truck floats on Mardi Gras Day have laxer rules than regular Orleans parades.

For decades, the Cantrell family was a major Mardi Gras float building company, building parades in the metro area for 60 years. Cantrell Sr. was Captain of the Krewe of Mardi Gras, and Jr. was Captain of Thor. Each was a pretty substantial parade back in their heyday. The Krewe of Mardi Gras ceased parading years ago.  Now that Thor has stopped, it’s the end of an era in Jefferson.