Future of Mardi Gras Parades in Shreveport Unclear
SHREVEPORT, LA - We still don't have any answers about what will happen with the 2 big Mardi Gras parades planned to roll in Shreveport in February. The Krewes and the Mayor have not been able to reach an agreement on a new contract.
Mayor Tom Arceneaux tells KEEL News his required changes are the result of serious concerns about safety and security at the parades. He says this is not about money. Arceneaux says we don't have enough police officers to adequately staff these big parades without some changes.
The Krewes of Gemini and Centaur sent the Mayor a counter offer last week which included a start time of 5pm. The Mayor has proposed a 2:30pm start time to make sure the parades are wrapped up by nightfall.
Arceneaux sent this letter to the Krewes late last week:
One of the big sticking points is the Mayor's proposal to change the date of the Krewe of Centaur Parade. The scheduled date on February 3 is the same date as the African American History Parade in downtown Shreveport. Mayor Arceneaux says the city does not have enough police officers to handle both parades on the same day.
But the Krewe of Centaur says changing the date at this late stage is just not a viable option. And Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser has told KEEL News moving the date of one of these parades would hurt international tourism. He says many people are coming to our region from other parts of the world and they have already made plans to attend these Mardi Gras events in Shreveport. He urges the Mayor to reconsider that option. He has also said he will do whatever he can to help find security folks for these parades.