Posts tagged Krewe of Alla
Talk about falling on your sword! The second oldest krewe in Jefferson Parish and the only krewe left on the West Bank are about to fall off the cliff. Both have received revocation orders from Sean Burke, Parish Community Affairs Director. I’ve written before about the suicide march Jefferson krewes are on.
In 2009, fourteen krewes held Mardi Gras parades in Jefferson Parish on the East and West Banks. 3 of 4 West Bank krewes have moved onto St. Charles Avenue uptown- Alla, Choctawand Cleopatra. The east bank krewes haven’t moved, though Rhea dropped out after their bingo revenue took a steep dive and they had trouble paying their bills.
If Adonis and Zeus are forced to drop out, Jefferson Parish would have 9 krewes left, all on the east bank. It amazes me that all the parades on the West Bank are disappearing. 9 isn’t a firm total by any means. Thor and Atlas, two established krewes, didn’t parade in 2014. The Guardians of Atlantis, a new krewe, was scheduled to run in 2014 but canceled out last summer.
Zeus’ 2014 parade only had 2 bands, 3 short of the minimum set by the ordinance. They also were short a couple of floats. Each infraction can result in permit revocation. I’m sure the offending krewes will appeal. Zeus is another old krewe, they started in 1957.
This is the end of an era, and it doesn’t portend well for Mardi Gras in New Orleans overall. The West Bank has a proud tradition of parading going back decades and decades. Alla, Jefferson’s oldest krewe, started in 1932, grew from a neighborhood parade into a super krewe, the brainchild of Blaine Kern Sr. It disturbs me West Bank parades are gone, I believe the entire process was very shortsighted. The West Bank deserves a robust parade schedule. What are all those West Bankers to do for Carnival parades in 2015?
Two West Bank krewes would receive a total of $25,000 from Jefferson Parish for this year’s Carnival parades under agreements the Parish Council is expected to approve Wednesday. But a separate item on the agenda would ban such expenditures in the future.
The Krewe of Alla would receive $15,000 while Cleopatra would get $10,000 in hotel and motel tax revenue under resolutions proposed by Councilman Chris Roberts, who has steered parish funding to West Bank krewes since 2005.
The practice would be banned under an ordinance proposed by Councilman Byron Lee, who wants to prohibit the parish from entering into such cooperative endeavor agreements with krewes, festivals and social clubs.
Lee did not immediately return a call seeking comment on his rationale for the restrictions.
Roberts said he expects Lee’s proposal to be deferred, saying it has “no chance of passing as it is written.”
“I’m not sure where he’s coming from with this,” Roberts said. “This would eliminate the Gretna Heritage Festival, the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo and pretty much all other tourism-related events that have received parish funds.”
He also said Lee’s proposal conflicts with a state law regulating how hotel and motel tax revenue can be spent.
“You can’t take that money and pave a street or make drainage improvements,” Roberts said. “It has to be used to promote tourism and economic development.”
Roberts said West Bank krewes have received similar amounts in recent years from his district’s roughly $100,000 share of the tax revenue. He said the Krewe of Choctaw has not yet approached him for funding this year.