Parade Safety Guide for Mardi Gras 2022 in Monroe, West Monroe

Mardi Gras can be a fun time for everyone, but it can also be dangerous.

Besides the crowds and the merrymaking, there are many potential safety hazards that can arise during the festivities. Here are some tips from local law enforcement authorities to keep you and your family safe this carnival season.

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Parade Route Instructions

The Mardi Gras parades will begin on February 12, when the Krewe de Rivière rolls at 5 p.m. The parade will start at West Monroe High School, turn left onto North Seventh Street, then left onto Mill Street continuing onto Bridge Street, then across the Lea Joyner Bridge onto Louisville Avenue, right onto North Fifth Street, turning left on Pine Street and right on Walnut Street ending at the Ouachita Parish Police Station.

Road closures for the parade will begin at 3:30 p.m. and will include the following:

  • Briggs Street
  • Travis Street
  • Bridge Street and across the Louisville Bridge to Louisville Avenue
  • Mill Street

The 39th Annual Krewe of Janus Parade will take place at 6 p.m. on February 19. The parade will start in West Monroe at 1118 Natchitoches St. near Eighth Street, left on Trenton Street, right on Bridge Street across the Lea Joyner Bridge on Louisville Avenue, right on Walnut Street, left on Washington Street, left on North Third Street and right on Louisville Avenue ending at the Toyota Service Shop.

Security measures have been put in place to protect citizens during the Mardi Gras 2022 parades.

Road closures for the parade will begin at 4 p.m. and will include the following:

  • Natchitoches Street
  • Mill Street
  • Trenton Street will be closed for parking starting at 7 a.m.

No vehicles will be allowed to park on the parade routes for the respective parades, West Monroe spokesman CJ Beck said.

“We’ll put it up with signs to remind you of it,” Beck said. “The streets will be open when the parade ends. Now it may not be immediately, but shortly after the end of the parade all roads will be open again.”

Cotton Street in downtown West Monroe will only be accessible to emergency personnel, Beck said.

“We want to ask the public not to move any barricades,” Beck said. “It’s a very tempting thing to do, is to try to get around the barricades. They’re there for a reason. They’re there for safety and we want to make sure they stay put.”

Keep your little ones close to you

Beck advises parents to keep a close eye on their children. During the parades it can get very crowded and small children can get lost very easily.

“We recommend putting relevant information in children’s pockets or attached to their clothing in some way,” Beck said. “Every time we host one of these events, we’re dealing with lost children, and we just need to have an emergency contact for parents or a loved one. It makes it a lot easier for us.”

Monroe Police Department spokesman Michael Fendall asked adult parade participants to watch out for other children.

“Help our neighbors,” Fendall said. “If you see kids who are around and maybe a little lost or having fun and you see them walking away, just keep an eye on them. There should be a lot of police there, just at your left and your right. It won’t be a time when you don’t see a policeman. Just guide him to us or guide his attention that way.

The Monroe Police Department will set up a station at the Northeast Louisiana Children’s Museum, 323 Walnut St., for emergency assistance. Fire and ambulance services will also be available.

If you see something, say something

Parades should draw large crowds of people, Fendall said, so if you see anything that doesn’t look right, notify law enforcement. It’s been a few years since the area has seen a Mardi Gras parade, so a few people may be trying to make up for lost time inappropriately.

Fendall said police will be there to help everyone enjoy the festivities safely.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure the people on the street are having a good time and especially the coterie,” Fendall said. “We may already have the answer, but then again we may not have the answer, but at least we know we can keep tabs on it.”

Surveillance cameras will also be used during the parade, according to Fendall.

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Stay clear of floats

Don’t run in the streets after tanks, Beck said. Everyone is excited to grab beads and other exciting trinkets during Mardi Gras parades, but keep in mind that the floats are large, making it difficult for drivers to determine if it’s clear to continue along the parade route.

“It becomes a very dangerous situation,” Beck said. “Stay away from the floats as they pass. We don’t want incidents or accidents.

Follow Ian Robinson on Twitter @_irobinsonand on Facebook athttps://bit.ly/3vln0w1.

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Susan W. Lloyd