Posts tagged New Orleans Mayor’s Race
In the middle of the 2010 Carnival Season, our New Orleans Saints managed to kick butt on the favored Indianapolis Colts, and win the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time in their 44 year history. A parade has been planned since the Saints entered the playoffs, win or lose. We WON, so count on a big, oversized, extremely crowded parade. The route is entirely downtown, and slightly shorter than the traditional Carnival parade route down St. Charles Avenue.
It was estimated by police that up to 15,000 Saints fans came out to New Orleans International Airport to greet the team on their return from Miami, where Super Bowl 44 was played. Based on that enthusiasm, you can expect the Saints Parade to draw crowds comparable to Endymion. The route is entirely down town, and slightly shorter than the traditional St. Charles route.
Very cold weather and blustery winds generally cut Mardi Gras crowds up to one half. It’s quite possible tonight’s Saints Parade will have smaller crowds as well.
Floats for the Saints Parade are being donated from the major Mardi Gras Parading Krewes, including Bacchus, Endymion, Alla, & Zulu. According to Blaine Kern Productions, producer for the parade, the Super Bowl Saints Parade will be the greatest, over the top Super Bowl Parade ever. However, the throws won’t be Saints logo throws, as all of those were purchased over the last several months as the Saints became hotter than a pistol. I hear that the Saints players will throw some NFL footballs- apparently, they control a good supply. As for bands, the best local Parade bands- U.S. Marine Marching Band, St. Augustine, Jesuit, McDonough 35, Carver, St. Mary’s Academy, and many more. The Budweiser Clydesdales are making a special appearance as well.
I could not have asked for a better outcome of last weekend. Mardi Gras is in full swing. What happened last weekend? The populace of New Orleans came to their collective senses in the voting booths, and threw away the politics of race and divisiveness. An amazing 67% of voters chose a white candidate, Mitch Landrieu. Why? There are a couple of key reasons. First, he was the best candidate by far. Second, buyers remorse. Landrieu lost closely to Ray Nagin in the last Mayor’s election, and after 4 more years of terrible Nagin, voters realized this weekend that they chose the wrong horse last time and the City suffered badly with a non-caring, do nothing. If Landrieu had been Mayor instead the last 4 years since Katrina, New Orleans would be in a much better place now, instead the recovery is half finished and half baked.
The voters had very stark differences between the Mayoral Candidates. Landrieu is an experienced politician with a Sister who’s a US Senator from Louisiana, and another Sister who is a Judge. His Dad was Mayor in the 70s and desegregated City Hall and Government. All the other candidates were political novices with with either business experience, the law, but no politics to speak of, and no relatives in very high political office.
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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.