The first big weekend of Mardi Gras season in the New Orleans area is going to be crowded, with the 2017 NBA All-Star Game combining with parades to draw a record number of visitors. That is good news for local hotels and restaurants, although Fox 8 reports that the packed schedule of events is causing some krewes to lose riders.
The Krewe of Caesar and the Knights of Sparta tell Fox 8 they have each lost about 30 out-of-town riders because they cannot find affordable hotel rooms that weekend. Caesar and Sparta both roll Feb. 18, the former in Metairie and the latter on the Uptown New Orleans route.
In addition to parades and the Feb. 19 All-Star Game, New Orleans will be welcoming another 15,000 people Feb. 15-18 for a hardware and lumber retailers convention.
It's "a dual-edge sword because we'll have a lot more people in the streets to see our parades because of the big convention and because of the NBA All-Star game crowd, but when it's hard for your own members to get in it does affect you," the anonymous captain of Sparta told Fox 8.
The report says both krewes still plan to roll, even if their numbers are slightly lower this year.
- Read Fox 8's full report.