With the first parade of the carnival season taking place on Sunday, Sheriff Craig Webre offered safety tips for those planning to attend any of the 16 parades being held in Lafourche Parish this year. At 1 p.m. on Sunday, February 1, the Krewe Des Les Petite Lions Parade will kick off the 2015 Carnival Season in Golden Meadow. That will be followed by four (4) parades next weekend – February 7 and 8 – and then seven more parades from Friday, February 13 through Sunday, February 15. The parade schedule culminates with a slate of four parades on “Fat Tuesday,” February 17.
“Lafourche Parish is a popular destination during Mardi Gras thanks to our jubilant communities and family-friendly atmosphere,” said Sheriff Webre. “While we have a handful of disturbances each year, we typically make very few arrests thanks to cooler heads prevailing in most cases. We believe our presence throughout the parade makes families feel secure and deters would-be troublemakers. If an incident arises, or you have any concerns during the parade, please find one of our deputies, and we hope every situation can be resolved in a peaceful manner.”
Deputies will be assigned to every parade throughout Lafourche Parish including those in Thibodaux, Lockport and Golden Meadow with the assistance of the municipal police departments. Deputies will be helping with the flow of traffic and the parade itself, as well as responding to emergencies, public complaints and incidents along the parade routes. Some deputies will be driving their units in the parade itself, while others will be on motorcycles, bicycles, all-terrain vehicles, and even on foot at various locations. LPSO Water Patrol will provide support during parades in the southern area of the parish, and the Mobile Command Vehicle will be utilized as a base of operations for some of the larger parades.
"Mardi Gras is a unique time for our deputies as they are afforded the opportunity to interact with citizens in a positive manner," said Sheriff Webre. "For a large number of citizens who have never filed a complaint or been arrested, their sole interactions with deputies may be during Mardi Gras. It’s a great opportunity for our deputies to meet and greet the law-abiding citizens they serve and work tenaciously to protect.”
Sheriff Webre said a crew of trustees (inmate workers) is also assigned to clean up the parade routes following each parade due to beads, trinkets and trash lining the roadsides.
For those attending parades, Sheriff Webre offers these tips for a happy and safe experience:
- NEVER throw anything at floats, float riders or anyone else participating in the parade.
- NEVER allow children on the street, and never stand or walk in the path of the parade. Stand at a safe distance from the floats.
- NEVER allow a child to retrieve toys or beads in the in parade path. While not recommended, if you must retrieve an item between floats, have an adult do so quickly and retreat safely back to the viewing area.
- Do not run alongside floats.
- Do not allow children to eat candy or sweets thrown from floats before inspected by an adult.
- If using a ladder with a seat for small children, place the ladder at a safe distance from the street, at least as far back as the ladder is tall. Secure the ladder to the ground or stable structure in some fashion and maintain constant adult supervision.
- Write your child's name, address and phone number on a tag inside their costume or clothing in case they get lost, and teach them to find a deputy immediately.