Mardi Gras season parade, Athena, seeks move from Metairie to Terrytown

The Krewe of Athena, a two-year-old Mardi Gras season organization, wants to move its parade from Metairie to Terrytown. In a letter to Jefferson Parish officials, Athena President Shonitra Vaughn said the parade's start time in Metairie, combined with cold weather, have left few spectators on its route.

The Gretna route would begin at the old Kmart building on Belle Chasse Highway and end at Oakwood Shopping Center, Vaughn said in the letter. Athena wants to keep its Feb. 17 date for Carnival 2017.

UPDATE: Athena's request greeted warmly

Moving Athena would be a blow to Metairie's Mardi Gras, which has struggled in the past 20 years. But it would boost Mardi Gras on the West Bank, which has struggled even more.

Vaughn addressed her letter to Parish President Mike Yenni and Sheriff Newell Normand. Changing the route also would be subject to approval of Parish Councilman Ricky Templet, whose district includes Terrytown.

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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story, based on Vaughn's letter, said the proposed new route would be in Gretna.