Franklin's Mardi Gras parade bows to cold, wet weather

It may have been the first time ever that the Franklin Mardi Gras All Krewes Parade didn’t roll on Fat Tuesday.
With a bitter cold and wet front moving into the St. Mary Parish area Tuesday morning, organizers with the Franklin Mardi Gras Association found themselves faced with a difficult decision.
It may have been a historic one.
“We talked to some people that are way older than me and they can’t remember this ever happening before,” David Naquin said this morning on behalf of the association. “We had beautiful weather over the weekend, but we knew there was a chance for Tuesday. We got up early, watched the weather, and made the call after consulting with the Franklin Police Department and Mayor Raymond Harris.”
Naquin said it became clear there wouldn’t be much of a crowd even if the parade did roll when they noticed vehicles that had been parked early in the parking lot at the St. Mary Parish Courthouse start leaving Tuesday morning.
“We had kids riding, too, and when they started closing overpasses over by Jeanerette and New Iberia, we knew it would be in everybody’s best interest to call it off,” Naquin said.
There are ongoing discussions on how to make up the lost parade, he said. Considerations include including this year’s court in next year’s parade with the new court, or a possible event later this spring. Naquin stressed that nothing has been decided yet.
Mayor Harris said this morning that the city’s first try at “Mardi Gras on the Bayou” may have been shut down, but it will return.
“My plans are to do it next year,” Harris said. “I thought it was a great concept. One of my staff proposed it and I loved it, and the community bought into it.”
He said the event was “delayed but not denied.”
Consulting with the Mardi Gras association, Harris said he agreed with the decision to cancel the parade. “It would have been unfair to people to be out in those elements,” he said. “It’s like when a hurricane comes and interrupts life. Sometimes we just have to yield to nature.”

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