UNNC Votes to take Mardi Gras To the Streets

By Erik Derr, Mid-City Press Contributing Writer

But can Jefferson Park's be as great as New Orleans'?! Source: New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau Credit: Romney Caruso

Mardi Gras has a new home in Jefferson Park, website like this thanks in part to the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (UNNC).

The panel in February voted to fund up to $500 in expenses for what is expected to be the first of an annual event commemorating the widely-popular, ethnically important celebration.

DonnaAnn Ward of the 30/31 Club, which represents residents of West 30th and 31st streets, asked the council to support the neighborhood get-together, scheduled from 12 to 6 p.m.  March 20th. She said the event would encourage a closer community by acknowledging the significance Mardi Gras has in the lives of many locals. From a practical standpoint, she added, residents would be working together in order to “organize, run and promote” the gathering.

“We looked around and realized nobody had stepped up to offer to celebrate Mardi Gras, which certainly is a huge, huge part of Jefferson Park history,” said Ward. “What we’d like to do is really sort-of get some mojo going—have a parade, march the kids in, elect a Mardi Gras king and queen,” and round out the day with family games, music and a few New Orleans-styled food.

Additionally, the council allotted about $1,000 to publicize its “Spring Fling,” area-wide clean-up event, likely to take place in June. Councilor Jessica Bravo explained the funds were needed to purchase the fliers and banners necessary to “rally up the troops” and “get the word out” about the event to the public.

Also, Laura Meyers, planning and zoning committee chair, asked her colleagues to support a proposed city ordinance changes that she said would more clearly define the nature and placement of so-called “group” or “community” multi-use houses, which are peppered throughout the Mid-City area.

“We have been trying to get these houses regulated by ordinance for years,” she said.

The panel unanimously voted for the group housing ordinance measure, but tied its support to the assurance that it, as well as the city council, will have an opportunity to consider and vote on individual proposed houses before they are approved.

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