January 30, 2020

Jay H. Banks

City Council Approves New Mardi Gras Regulations

City Council Approves New Mardi Gras Regulations


NEW ORLEANS - During today's regular meeting, the Council passed two ordinances updating sections of the Municipal Code that address Mardi Gras regulations, clarifying parade terms and codifying reforms. 

Definitions pertaining to Carnival season were added or amended, including "Element," which is now defined as, "any marching band, military bands, dance club, walking club, riding club, or dance troupe in a Mardi Gras float parade larger than a group of fifteen participants, not including chaperones, helpers, support vehicles, and public safety vehicles." 

Limits were also placed on the number of elements, with a maximum of twelve before the first float, and only one between each float. Mardi Gras Day walking parades are also limited to the six existing parades, which will help keep them moving and allow them to end at a reasonable time.

This year, in order to cut down on the amount of litter and waste, and to create a safer experience for parade-goers, the "prohibited throws" section was updated to prohibit riders from throwing the following:

  • Corrugated boxes;
  • Paper streamers or other paper products that do not biodegrade when wet; and 
  • Empty single-use plastic bags.

Pre-packaged bulk throws (i.e., doubloons, beads, cups, trinkets, toys, etc.) must be handed to parade-goers and cannot be thrown or tossed, and bulk throws must be removed from plastic packaging before being thrown or tossed.

The ordinance approved by the Council today states that all ladders and/or personal items left on the public right-of-way must be removed four hours or more before a parade, and at the end of the final parade that same day. In addition, enclosed tents are now prohibited on sidewalks and neutral grounds. Further measures to ensure secure routes include a prohibition on box trucks, cargo vans, trucks with port-a-lets, campers, RVs, trailers, or other enclosed containers within two blocks of a parade route four hours before and after a parade. 

"Many thanks to everyone who was part of creating this collaborative ordinance, including the Office of Homeland Security, Sanitation Department, Mayor's staff, City Council staff, as well as members of the Mayor's Mardi Gras Advisory Committee," said District "B" Councilmember Jay H. Banks. "These provisions will help ensure a safe Carnival environment for all to enjoy, free from obstructions and other security risks."



Media Contact: 

Jenna D. Burke

Councilmember Jay H. Banks, District "B"

(504) 658-1021

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