Carnival Historian: ‘Changes Could Have Been Worse’

NEW ORLEANS — Noted Carnival historian Errol Laborde said the recently announced modifications to parade routes for Carnival 2022 are not likely to dampen the spirit of the event.

“The changes could have been worse,” said Laborde, who is also editor in chief of Renaissance Publishing (parent company of Biz New Orleans). “The biggest concern is Endymion, which is Carnival’s largest parade and the only one that goes up Canal Street from the Carrollton intersection. Without allowing that portion of the parade to stay, all of the parades would have been on Uptown routes.”

Laborde said moving everything Uptown would have burdened a section of town that’s already oversaturated with parades.

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“Past attempts to temporarily put Endymion on the Uptown route were not successful,” he said. “The parade was just too big. It was like trying to empty Lake Pontchartrain into Bayou St. John.”

Laborde notes that Zulu will keep some of its legendary Uptown neighborhood route although it has to avoid Canal Street on its way to the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club headquarters on North Broad near Orleans Avenue. Thoth, which is famous for a serpentine Uptown route that passes several healthcare institutions, will travel a shorter, simplified path.

“It is a big loss to its spectators,” said Laborde.

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Most of the other krewes, including Rex, will keep the essence of their traditional routes. If they change at all, it will be mostly at the beginning and at the end,

“At the press conference announcing the changes, New Orleans Superintendent of Police Shaun Ferguson assured that these would be a one-time change,” said Laborde. “We hope that’s true, but a shortage of police manpower may be an issue that’s going to stay for a while. It may even prove that some of the route changes are for the better.”

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