Zeus moves ahead with parade plans
Captain says half of Zeus board resides in St. Charles
Some residents in Destrehan have put signs in their yards supporting the Krewe of Zeus. Others say they do not want the parade in Ormond.
The krewe’s captain, who by tradition is not identified, said that Zeus is taking extra precautions with regards to the parade since half of their board resides in St. Charles Parish.
“The reason we are being so cautious is because we’re parading on our own streets,” he said. “We would not attempt to do anything in our own neighborhood that we didn’t think was safe.”
The Krewe of Zeus had rolled through the streets of Metairie for more than 50 years before announcing intentions to parade in St. Charles Parish.
The krewe first submitted a parade permit in July, but withdrew it a few days later in order to alter the route and allow emergency vehicles to access more of the Ormond area during the parade.
As planned, the parade would roll through Ormond on Feb. 7 at night and would start at Ormond Plantation. From there, the krewe would head to Ormond Boulevard, travel northbound to Greenwood Drive and turn around. On the way back, the parade would cross over on Plantation Road and head back down the side of the street the floats originally passed through.
The krewe’s captain stressed that Zeus would use smaller floats in Ormond than they have used in the past in Metairie.
“We want to make it more interactive and more fun,” he said. “What we are designing and crafting in Ormond is exactly what we think carnival should be.”
He also said that residents shouldn’t worry about krewe members causing havoc in Ormond.
“We are very selective about who is on our floats,” he said. “We have a lieutenant on every float and we police our own parade. Nobody’s ever been arrested because we run a clean show.”
The krewe is currently seeking approval from fire departments, emergency medical services and others involved in the parade before submitting a new application. They have already received permission to have spectators park on the levee and at the Jerusalem Shrine Temple on Ormond Boulevard.
“We are going through and checking everything out and ensuring that we have everything covered,” the krewe’s captain said. “We are being extra careful because we do live here. If we didn’t think it could be done safely in a way that the people could enjoy, we wouldn’t do it.”
The krewe is scheduling a meeting with Ormond Civic Association members that will take place this month. Another meeting will be held for members of the general public.
“We just want to make sure that Ormond and St. Charles Parish have their concerns alleviated with a nighttime parade,” the krewe’s captain said. “We want St. Charles Parish residents to be able to celebrate the joy of carnival in their own neighborhood. All of the residents that like Mardi Gras don’t have to load up their kids and head to Metairie and New Orleans.
“They are going to cook out and watch the parade with their friends and family from their homes.”
Destrehan residents have come out both for and against the parade.
Letty Guidry said the parade will bring a huge influx of people into a community that can’t handle the parking and other situations that arise.
Danielle Weaver called the parade a “ridiculous proposition.”
“The people who pay good money to live along the boulevard will have so much trash, cars [and] strangers in their yard,” she said. “Not to mention the beautiful oaks and cypresses that will be trashed with beads while the medians are full of beer cans, porta-potties and more trash.”
Ashante’ Williams lives in Destrehan and said she sees both sides of the issue, however she believes the parade will bring a lot of money to the parish.
“There is the Norco Christmas parade and the Luling parade that roll and the aftermath is just as I expect it...clean,” she said. “A great family-oriented parade is just what our parish needs to keep our children from traveling to the city and risking getting lost or kidnapped.”
Robert Hymel agreed.
“I think it’s great,” he said. Why all the negativity? It’s just for one day.”
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