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Frustration on Freret: New Krewe Won't Roll Until 2014

by M.D. Dupuy

The good times won’t roll this carnival for the Krewe of Freret. Despite support from a number of City officials and Mardi Gras muckety mucks, the co-ed Krewe won’t roll in 2013. According to the group’s release, law enforcement seemed too distracted by the Super Bowl to respond to their $750 application, claiming they believed the date to be set for 2014.


In just four months, the co-ed Krewe managed to rustle together 100 paying members and double-decker floats from Mardi Gras World. An unnamed city councilperson was on board with Freret, pending the NOPD’s approval.


Krewe Captain Greg Rhoades said plans were essentially “stonewalled,” by law enforcement’s failure to respond to their request. “Realistically, we had all the backing of the necessary person, at least behind closed doors,” said Rhoades.


Chairman of the Mardi Gras Advisory Council and Krewe of Orpheus Captain Sonny Borey backed the Krewe’s ambitions for an inaugural roll. NOLA’s finest never formally rejected the Krewe’s request, they simply didn’t respond. 


Mayor Mitch’s Cultural Economy Advisor Scott Hutcheson was a conduit between the Krewe and the NOPD during the waiting period.


“He was incredibly helpful,” Rhoades said. According to the Krewe, the cops are pleading ignorance on the matter.


Although Freret claims they paid their $750 application fee, NOPD blamed the ordeal on a misunderstanding and said they thought the parade was set for 2014. Hutcheson’s office declined to comment on the Krewe’s news.


“Ultimately what happened is that he [Hutcheson] told me the NOPD understood it would be a 2014 and not a 2013 parade,” said Rhoades. “For them to state that seems pretty ludicrous.”


Rhoades said the Krewe was very understanding and emphasized their ability to be flexible. “We suggested a date when we came to them initially and said we were willing to tweak all of this to best suit your needs.”


The NOPD's Director of Public Affairs Remi Braden responded to Krewe's complaints by clarifying, "an application to parade during Mardi Gras season is not an automatic approval to parade."


Braden further explained that this year is particularly busy for officers. "Freret stopped rolling several years ago. Since then, new krewes have formed, and parade schedules have changed. 2013 will be an extraordinarily busy and demanding Carnival season for our officers."


Braden added, "In 2013, we don't want to compromise the safety of any parade krewe, including the Krewe of Freret. We feel we can serve Freret better in 2014, and we hope they'll apply to roll then," she said.


Captain Greg Rhoades said that the Krewe was “established to improve Carnival…to help the community at large beyond throwing beads one day out of the year." 



Their community service credentials include a toy drive for Ozanam Inn, a food drive for Second Harvest Bank, and participation in the October Freret Street Cleanup.



Now that hopes for a 2013 parade have been squashed, the Krewe of Freret is focused in getting permitted for 2014 and planning this year’s black tie masquerade ball.


Rhoades is looking forward. “Regrettably, we tried multiple angles with the NOPD, willing to take any date, any time, with any extra stipulations or respectful considerations. We understand that the force is stressed with the Super Bowl, and we wanted to try and work out any necessary kinks,” Rhoades said.


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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


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