By Angus Lind, Staff Writer for Times-Picayune
The Carnival organization selected as having the best parade of the past season is planning to call a press conference to issue a statement that will have a major impact on the community.
Double-secret covert Carnival agent Deep Float has obtained a copy of the prepared statement from an un-named spokesman for Le Krewe d’Etat and leaked it to this column.
The statement says:
“After much soul searching and hand wringing, and with great anxiety and regret, Le Krewe d’Etat has felt it necessary to issue a public statement regarding the krewe’s future as a parading organization in New Orleans.
“Since Le Krewe d’Etat is a small organization in terms of members, its dues place it in the lower ranks in terms of revenue, especially compared to such Titan-sized organizatins like Endymion and Bacchus. Its lack of a huge post-parade party also places it in the lower ranks of organizations in income. We seek changes of we may be forced to move to Mississippi.
“The traditional St. Charles Avenue route is no longer viable for Le Krewe D’Etat. While we realize that parades have been rolling there for many years, we feel that there are many problems with the route. Numerous potholes on the avenue cause jolts to our riders, who are not always that steady on their feet by that time of night. This also results in the loss of some throws over the side of the float, which curtails the enjoyment of spectators.
“Numerous trees, telephone poles, streetlights, power lines and other varied obstructions are acting as impediments to sightlines for spectators and riders alike, the former less able to watch the parade, the latter unable to throw to intended targets.
“We would like to work with city and state officials to improve our route and guarantee revenues to our krewe or we will be forced to leave the home we love, or sell our parade to some other group who might want it.
“We propose certain changes and possible solutions to the aforementioned problems. First, we would seek changes to the route, including the removal to a better location of all telephone and power poles so they do not obstruct sightlines, and to avoid any beads getting entangled in the wires, a further loss of enjoyment for riders and spectators. The removal of all trees from St. Charles Avenue would be a further step in the right direction. At least one of the above we view as a minimum requirement for us to stay.
“Our alternative solution would be to give us a new route altogether. This is the one we prefer. The plan we have devised is fairly simple. All buildings between Chartres Street and Royal Street between Canal Street and Esplanade Avenue would be demolished or removed to give the krewe a wide lane with unobstructed views of our parade. This would also enable the krewe to sell places on luxury stands and suites on Jackson Square and elsewhere in our new Vieux Carre route. This would bring our revenues into the upper half of Carnival krewes.
“We realize that some may shrink at such a plan but we feel that this plan would have the added benefit of reducing over-crowdedness in the French Quarter. It would solve once and for all what to do with the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, as the problems with that have gone on forever. (It would make Phil Johnson happy as well.)
“As to the Cathedral, Presbytere and Cabildo, we feel that alternative locations could be found for them in Algiers, they could be incorporated into the Jazzland theme park or placed on the possibly soon-to-be vacant Superdome. As far as French Quarter residents are concerned, we believe anyone rich enough to live there can afford to go anywhere they want.
“The krewe realizes that its presence on Friday night makes that night very long for parade viewers, resulting in hunger and thirst for parade viewers. We believe that this entitles us to a guaranteed share of food and drink sales along the parade route. We should get 35 percent of total sales of $250,000, whichever is higher.“
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