Mardi Gras 2020 had a beautiful start with a wedding proposal to Queen during the Cleopatra Parade on Valentine’s Day.
Sadly, Mardi Gras in New Orleans took a tragic turn during the Nyx Parade for Geraldine “Puggie” Carmouche. She was in the crowd attending the parade and on the wrong side of float 21 which her cousin was riding.
Float 21 is a double float, two floats joined by a hitch in the middle. She tried to cross through the middle, between the float’s two sections and fell under the float when crossing the hitch.
Tradgedy struck again last night during the 2020 Endymion parade when an unidentified man was struck and killed between sections of float 14, the S.S. Captain Eddie float (named after the parade’s founder, Captain Edmund J. Muniz.) The accident occured by the University Medical Center near Canal and South Galvez. He was taken to the hospital but his injuries were fatal.
At Gallier Hall the parade was halted while Mayor LaToya Cantrell went to the accident scene. City Council President, Helena Moreno, reported the news to the spectators in Mayor Cantrell’s absence. After an extended pause the marching bands and floats one through thirteen continued the parade.
Float 14 remained in place as the police investigated the accident. The remaining floats were diverted and sidelined still loaded with throw. Their riders and the marchers were taken away from the area in buses.
Current policies require barriers between the sections of the floats so that riders cannot cross between the sections after the death of a rider in 2009 but nothing requiring a similar barrier to prevent spectators from entering the gap between the floats. There is now discussion of putting barriers between the sections of the floats with multiple sections but for the remainder of this Mardi Gras season, each section will be pulled by a tractor.
Mardi Gras parades are exciting and fun, but they are also dangerous. Spectators are often tempted to jump the barricades to pick up a throw or to run between the floats when they want to get to the other side. Please remember to follow basic safety rules. Don’t cross the barricades except when and where the police are allowing it. If you are in an area where there are no barricades, don’t cross in front of floats. There is no throw so valuable and no need to cross the parade grounds so urgent that it is worth losing your life. Enjoy the parades safely and celebrate the Mardi Gras season!
For more photos from the parades, check out our 2020 Mardi Gras New Orleans Photo Albums. Oh, and check back as we still have a couple thousand yet to upload and more coming!
For Thousands more photos from Mardi Gras 2020, check out our 2020 Mardi Gras photo albums. If you are going to take any of our photos for your Facebook or for other use, please request to do so from the copyright owner, John N. Collins, via his Facebook, like his Fan Page, Follow him on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and if you see him on the street, say hi!
Before you head off to the main photo albums though, here are a few more from the parades to whet your appetite.
laissez les bon temps rouler!