Kenner sets Mardi Gras season announcement amid talk that Isis will parade there

The king's float rolls during the Krewe of Isis parade on Veterans Memorial Boulevard in Metairie on Feb. 10, 2018. (Peter G. Forest, | The Times-Picayune)

Kenner officials have scheduled a “major Carnival announcement” amid speculation that the 47-year-old Krewe of Isis is moving its parade there from Metairie. If that comes to pass, it would be Kenner’s first large-scale Mardi Gras season parade since 1992.

The announcement, set Wednesday afternoon (June 12) at The Esplanade shopping mall, comes four months after a Carnival season during which Jefferson Parish urged krewes to use a new, east-to-west route in Metairie, reversing the conventional direction of parades. Isis was one of three float parades that did not exercise that option.

After Mardi Gras, the Krewe of Caesar, which also resisted the new route, announced it would “cease operations” in Metairie and might move to Kenner. Caesar captain Bob Carnesi said Tuesday his krewe has not decided what to do for 2020, but he said he suspects Isis is moving to Kenner.

Mardi Gras season krewe considers parading in Kenner, after four decades in Metairie

“Jefferson Parish wants to move all [Metairie] parades to the first weekend" of Carnival, Carnesi said, referring the period that begins 11 days before Fat Tuesday. “But Isis is under contract with a float builder on the second weekend; it can’t provide floats on the first weekend.”

Isis captain Sherrell Gorman on Tuesday said she would not discuss the krewe’s plans for 2020 until Wednesday. “I’m excited about the future of Mardi Gras, wherever it’s located,” she said.

The all-women’s krewe dates from 1972, when Joyce Blondeau and some friends formed the group.. It started as the Krewe of Athania and changed to Isis after one year.

Isis has grown from 200 members this spring to a close to 300 expected for 2020, Gorman said. In 2019, it added two floats to its parade.

Metairie takes Mardi Gras season parades in a new direction

Jefferson officials and krewe captains have been wringing their hands for years about ways to improve Metairie parades. One option, indeed, has been to move all krewes, other than Argus and the two truck parades that follow it on Fat Tuesday, to the “first weekend” of Carnival. The thinking is that they will attract larger crowds than they do now in the days immediately before Mardi Gras, when they are competing with Endymion, Bacchus and other parades in Uptown New Orleans.

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Drew Broach covers Jefferson Parish politics and education plus other odds and ends. Email: Facebook: Drew Broach TP. Twitter: drewbroach1.