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Carnival vendors ahead of schedule due to cancellation of Mardi Gras 2021

Vendors have had over a year to prepare for Carnival 2022.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Carnival season 2022 is full speed ahead as final touches are made to floats and riders gather their throws.

Area businesses are also preparing for the return of carnival parades, like Beads by the Dozen in Elmwood. The shelves are stocked with beads, trinkets and other Mardi Gras throws.

“Been a lot of phone calls. A lot of people pulling in the parking lot and pulling back out when they realize we’re not open yet,” said general manager Paul Myers.

Myers said despite it being carnival season, business has yet to begin. That’s because Hurricane Ida dealt a heavy blow to the business, which suffered significant roof and water damage.

“It’s been a little bit of a different route for us this year,” he said. “It’s been a rough road. We had a lot of repairs to do but we’re looking forward to getting open and getting people in and start the Mardi Gras shopping.”

Beads by the Dozen will open on Monday, Jan. 10, to shoppers eager to get their Mardi Gras beads.

Myers said there’s plenty of product to go around since carnival was canceled last year, which is good because parade riders are about to load up their throws.

“Floats are already starting to be loaded literally this week, floats are getting tagged, stuff’s getting loaded,” said Barry Kern of Mardi Gras World.

Like Myers, Kern said they are ahead of the game this year, and for similar reasons.

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“It’s probably not as hectic as it probably would be in a normal year just because so much work had already been done,” said Kern.

But the work continues. Floats are still being built, props are still being painted, along with some last-minute changes.

The biggest change this year - safety netting on tandem floats.

“My only comment to that is that everyone obviously be very careful next to any of the floats,” said Kern.

He said he’s anticipating this carnival season to be the biggest one yet, and all the more reason to be extra careful on the routes.

“This is a chance for us to all kind of make up for what’s been a tough two years,” he said.

“It’s a little in disbelief because of what we’ve been through the last couple of years,” said Myers. “But we’re really excited and anxious to get back going.”

And believe it or not, these vendors are already looking ahead to next year.

“We’ve already started designs for 2023,” said Kern.

The first parades of the carnival season rolled Thursday night, Jan. 8.

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