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Mardi Gras Laws on Ladders, Portalettes Pass Council

Mardi Gras is gearing up, and the 2014 season has some new laws that can see parade goers paying upwards of a $250 fine for violating any of latest parade provisions. The Council officially voted on banning portalettes, fining for "throwbacks" from beads to the floats, and other new regulations. 


The series of ordinances concerning Carnival were first brought up in late 2013 and have since seen some minor tweaks over the last few Council meetings. They were finally discussed, voted on, and passed at the January 23 regular meeting.


The first and primary was regarding parking along select parade routes. This has been cited has a public safety concern, preventing emergency crews or vehicles from readily moving about during any festivities. 


The ordinance adds a section to the City's parking prohibitions. It reads as follows:


Sec. 154-984. Stopping or parking prohibited on Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue at certain times.


(a) No person shall stop or park a vehicle on either side of Napoleon Avenue between Tchoupitoulas Street and Claiborne Avenue between two hours before and two hours after any Mardi Gras parade whose route includes that portion of Napoleon Avenue.


(b) No person shall stop or park a vehicle on either side of St. Charles Avenue 13 between Napoleon Avenue and Canal Street between two hours before and two hours after any Mardi Gras parade whose route includes that portion of St. Charles Avenue.


Further legislation went onto address general safety issues concerning parades. The primary function was riding along the exterior of a car or parade vehicle. Specifically, "No person shall ride on the exterior of an automobile during a parade, except that one person may ride on the back of a convertible automobile.”


This language was included in the bill ready to be discussed at the prior meeting, as were the following:


1) A $250 fine for throwbacks (or, "throwing any object at a float or at any participant in a carnival parade.")

2) Prohibiting grills, seating or other personal effects between intersections or in public streets,

3) Establishes a 6-foot setback for any ladders, tents, and other items

4) No portable toilets on public property (penalty to the owner), penalty of $250,

5) Fixed spots for permitted vendors,

6) Prohibits the sale of snap-pops.


Also included in the final version was language concerning citizens who claim their own pieces of the aptly named neutral ground. No more ropes, the ordinance says.


"It shall be prohibited to use ropes or other similar items to create a barricade or otherwise obstruct passage along public property unless otherwise specifically authorized."


The ordinances passed unanimously, 7-0. Still to come are the electrical  work and matters relative to the fire safety code, but that legislation was deferred until the February 6 Regular Council Meeting. 




Erin Rose
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