Twelve of Jefferson Parish’s 14 street parades this year received praise and no fines from regulators. The other two, both Mardi Gras season processions, were fined for an excessive number of unmasked riders, displaying a political campaign sign or leaving horse manure on the parade route.
The post-parade reports for 2019 were released last week by the parish administration in response to a public records request. Citizens Affairs Director Donna Russo described each parade as “great” or “beautiful,” while nonetheless noting shortcomings in seven of the 14.
The big offenders were:
Mystic Knights of Adonis, which the parish fined a total of $200 for having 23 unmasked riders and for including a convertible with a sign touting Frank Brindisi’s campaign for judge. Parish Councilman Ricky Templet rode in a vehicle with a sign saying “Proven Leadership - Templet - Jefferson Parish Council,” but that’s not a violation because it doesn’t urge voting for him, Russo said Tuesday (June 4).
Krewe of Athena, fined $100 for not picking up manure deposited by horses in its parade.
Political signs in Mardi Gras season parades raise new questions in Jefferson Parish
Russo dinged five other parades for unmasked riders, but in numbers insufficient to warrant a fine.
Jefferson evaluates parades under a 2009 law. For conventional float parades during Carnival, the law requires a minimum number of costumed riders, floats and marching bands, among other mandates. Violators risk fines or loss of the parade permit in subsequent years.
Truck parades, the children’s Krewe of Little Rascals and parades outside of the Mardi Gras season have looser rules.
2019 parades cost Jefferson Parish $1.6 million, outpacing inflation
This is at least the third time in six years that Adonis has been fined. In 2013, the parish fined the krewe $200 for having 20 unmasked riders and for smoking on a float. The next year, Jefferson revoked the krewe’s permit privileges because it rolled with fewer than 200 costumed riders. The krewe appealed, and an administrative judge reduced the penalty to a $500 fine.
Here are the 2019 evaluations:
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Drew Broach covers Jefferson Parish politics and education plus other odds and ends. Email: email@example.com. Facebook: Drew Broach TP. Twitter: drewbroach1