Mardi gras krewes are reflecting on the recent accidents that killed two people during this year’s Carnival celebrations and considering how things might need to change in the future. UNO Driftwood reports.
Two people died after falling between tandem floats this year as they attempted to reach for things thrown by the float riders. Krewe riders were nervous this year about the huge crowds pushing and competing for souvenirs or retrieving fallen goods near the floats. There hadn’t been a float-related death since 2008.
Krewes know that something needs to change. Soft items do not fly as far as strings of beads, which makes them fall closer to the wheels. The krewe member interviewed in the article says they saw several kids diving close to the wheels to get things.
One suggestion by him says that guard rails installed along the floats to protect the wheels combined with sensors to notify drivers when they’re struck may be a good first step toward keeping the crowds out of danger.
Another possibility is limiting the number of soft goods thrown, but the softer items are among the most sustainable. There have been complaints about the waste left behind after Carnival celebrations and the sustainability of throws.
Considering that both deaths this year were due to tandem floats, one of the first changes might be to remove this kind of float entirely from the festivities, at least until krewes can prove to city officials that they are safer.
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