New Orleans officials are giving high marks for the city’s performance in this year’s Mardi Gras. Work is already starting on making sure next year’s carnival season goes well, even with a Super Bowl in the middle of the party.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu had this assessment:
“Simply stated, the Mardi Gras of 2012 rocked.”
Landrieu says the final weekend before Fat Tuesday was challenging, with rain postponing major parades that were rescheduled for a long Sunday. He says police responded quickly to a shooting Thursday that delayed parades, and another Tuesday night near the French Quarter. No one was seriously hurt.
Police superintendent Ronal Serpas says arrests were up this year, partly because officers enforced an 8 p.m. curfew in the French Quarter for those 16 years old and younger.
Landrieu says the city is now planning to host not only the 2013 Mardi Gras, but the Super Bowl on February 3rd– which falls between the opening of Carnival season and Fat Tuesday.
“We have already begun our work in earnest. You know we sent a team to the Super Bowl. We already had a post-Super Bowl visit post-mortem meeting to learn what we saw in Indianapolis. We’re going to begin working on it. But we have to begin now. And we need thousands of volunteers. And, of course, we need to do Mardi Gras well and we need to do the Super Bowl well. As though this year wasn’t enough, next year’s going to be better.”
Landrieu says he’s also considering ways to manage how neutral grounds can be fairly shared, even with cooking gear and canopies.