The Krewe of Endymion and other carnival events forced to adjust due to Hard Rock Hotel collapse
NEW ORLEANS - The Krewe of Endymion is all set to roll on Feb. 22, but due to the dangerous condition of the collapsed Hard Rock Hotel, officials are still deciding on the route Endymion will use to proceed through downtown New Orleans.
According to The Advocate, Endymion President, Dan Kelly, says the Krewe is considering alternate routes, particularly for the latter part of the parade that normally rolls along Canal Street, from Mid-City to St. Charles Avenue.
The krewe began discussing the issue with city officials as early as November, only a few weeks after the 18-story Hard Rock collapsed while under construction at Canal and North Rampart streets, killing three workers.
Months later, the site remains dangerous, with parts of Canal and Rampart still closed to traffic.
Kelly said Endymion parade-goers should still expect to enjoy themselves, as most of the route will remain the same.
That said, he's waiting on official word from New Orleans police regarding how Endymion can detour and still maneuver its 3,000 riders to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for the giant post-parade party.
Fortunately, New Orleanians are known for their adaptablility in the face of natural disasters and other emergencies; whatever the year brings, residents adjust and keep the city's Mardi Gras spirit alive.
With this in mind, Kelly told The Advocate, "We're used to adjusting. We couldn't do our Mid-City route following Katrina, so everybody is taking this in stride."
Other Carnival events have also had to adapt due to complications brought by the Hard Rock collapse.
The Societe des Champs Elysee, for example, typically kicks off Carnival season with a Jan. 6 ride on the Rampart-St. Claude streetcar line. But this year's plans were forced to change as that line runs next to the collapsed Hard Rock site, and is still out of service.
Krewe captain, David Roe, said they plan to stroll instead.
"Amazingly," he told The Advocate, "not a single krewe person asked for a refund. Everyone understands it's nothing we can fix."
So, the party will carry on, with festivities beginning and ending at Carnaval Lounge and a photo op stop at the Elysian Fields streetcar stop.
The Hard Rock's demolition is now expected to take until December 2020, according to a new plan from the hotel's developers.
Fire Superintendent, Tim McConnell, said it will take workers until May to stabilize the building so that it can be safely picked apart, piece by piece.
The process of dismantling the tangled steel structure would then continue over the next several months.