Saints Influence on Mayoral Race & Mardi Gras 2010
Mardi Gras approaches, and a relatively big local election looms large. On February 6, the electorate will choose a new Mayor, City Council, Louisiana Senate & Legislature, Assessor, among other important governmental positions.
The Saints have won their first ever League Championship and the Superbowl comes smack dab in the middle of Carnival- the Super Bowl is Sunday, February 7, and Mardi Gras Day is Tuesday, February 16. Carnival and local elections have mixed before, but the Saints haven’t ever played this late in the season, bringing an extra layer of fervor and hedonism to the mix. My own parade, Krewe Du Vieux, rolls on Saturday, January 30. That adds lots of additional FUN to the proceedings. Let’s not forget Cupid’s holiday, Valentine’s Day, which always falls on February 14.
At the time of this posting, the Saints RULE their roost, and it’s a citywide obsession. Therefore, many parading krewes would like to load up on Saints merchandise. However, Saints memorabilia is getting more expensive, not cheaper, making it costly for float riders. Some of the major krewes had the foresight to order Saints footballs, etc. in a timely basis, so they will be throwing highly sought after Saints stuff. Those krewes that parade after Valentine’s Day will load up on 50-75% off sales so you should see plenty of red hearts & arrows coming off the floats.
There are 8 parades in the metro area on Election Day. Parades always have a depressing effect on voter turn out. If less people vote, how does that change the outcome? It depends on who doesn’t vote. Motivated voters turn out regardless, therefore it’s safe to assume those that stay home are less motivated than those that take the time to vote.
You can count on numerous Saints-themed floats this year, and the stars of the team have become the stars of Mardi Gras 2010. Owner Tom Benson is Grand Marshall of Endymion February 13; Drew Brees is Bacchus on February 14; Sean Peyton is a Celebrity Monarch of Orpheus February 15. It’s rare that the Crescent City has such a huge success that everyone can enjoy, and many krewes will develop special floats to commemorate this fabulous occasion.
An announcement from Endymion said Benson will bring an entourage to the parade, including his wife Gayle, his granddaughter and team co-owner Rita Benson LeBlanc and a delegation of Saints players and staff members.
Endymion Captain Ed Muniz said the krewe is having special umbrellas made for Benson, who is known for his umbrella-waving, second-line-style celebrations after big wins. The krewe also said Benson and other riders on his float will throw coins commemorating the 25th anniversary of his ownership of the Saints.
Some parades have changed their day or route because of the Super Bowl, and one parade, Rhea in Metairie, canceled. Alla, a big West Bank parade will parade on the day before the Super Bowl. King Arthur and Pontchartrain Uptown are moving their parade up one hour, so they finish before Super Bowl Kick Off.