Carnival time in Terrebonne Parish and in the rest of the Tri-parishes is still a family-oriented affair. Local law enforcement does a good job of keeping public order.
But the celebration is growing, especially in Houma. Parade-goers, increasingly, need to take caution.
“Houma’s gonna boom,” longtime Krewe of Hercules captain S.P. LaRussa told the Terrebonne Parish Council in June, referring to the size of carnival.
Beginning this year, the council upped the number of floats permitted in each Terrebonne Parish parade from 30 to 35. Three krewes in Houma will roll over 30 floats.
More controversially, the number of piggyback, or double, floats was limited to 10 by the council. The cap is important because some krewes in Jefferson Parish shoehorn piggybacks into their parades to increase the number of floats past local restrictions, LaRussa contended. Terrebonne Parish Councilman Alvin Tillman wanted tighter controls on the number of piggybacks for that exact reason.
Three krewes in Houma plan to roll piggyback floats this year.
Of more concern, perhaps, is the size of single floats in Houma parades compared to the size of the streets in the city. LaRussa was emphatic at the June meeting that streets cannot accommodate big floats when they turn from one roadway onto another.
Overall in the Tri-parishes, the number of krewes staging carnival parades is an impressive 32. Of course, many of these are smaller parades, but the number in Houma, Thibodaux, and Morgan City totals 17, and there is no sign of a slowdown.
That is probably a good thing. Carnival in Houma, LaRussa said, brings in more than $6 million to Terrebonne Parish.