The first real sign that Mardi Gras is upon us is the barricades. Lafayette will soon resemble a city under seige as it prepares this weekend’s sole parade, for the Krewe of Rio. If you tried driving into downtown today via Congress St., you were routed down Lafayette Street, as a caravan of flatbed work trucks, stacked with street barricades, began sweeping their way through downtown. Today, barricades went up from Pontiac Point to the intersection of Johnston and Vermilion St. and will continue tomorrow along the 3.9 mile parade route down Johnston St. and up North College to the Cajun Field entrance at Reinhardt Dr. All told, 5500 barricades are put up, at a cost of approximately 1150 labor hours.

In a press release announcing the street barricades, City-Parish President Joey Durel states, “We understand that there are inconveniences associated with the placement of barricades and some of the other logistics associated with putting on Mardi Gras festivities, and we appreciate the sacrifices our citizens and businesses make. However, the positives associated with the family-friendly Mardi Gras put on in Lafayette far outweigh the negatives, and add to the quality of life and culture we are known for and all enjoy.”

Here’s the full barricade schedule:

Thursday, February 12 – 8:00 a.m. - Barricade placement will begin along the parade route from “Pontiac Point” to the intersection of Vermilion and Johnston.  The barricades will not block intersections
Friday, February 13 - 8:00 am -  Barricade placement will begin along the parade route at the intersection of Vermilion and Johnston St., continue down Johnston St., turn on N. College and terminate at the Cajun Field entrance (Reinhardt Dr.).  Barricades will not block major intersections, but crossovers on Johnston and N. College will be limited.
Saturday, February 14 - Following Parades - Barricades will be removed from the roadway and placed on the shoulder.  Access will be back to normal for Sunday morning.
Thursday, February 19 – 8:00 a.m. - Barricade placement will begin along the parade route from “Pontiac Point” to the intersection of Vermilion and Johnston.  The barricades will not block intersections.
Friday, February 20 – 8:00 a.m. - Barricade placement will begin along the parade route at the intersection of Vermilion and Johnston St., continue down Johnston St., turn on N. College and terminate at the Cajun Field entrance (Reinhardt Dr.).  Barricades will not block major intersections, but crossovers on Johnston and N. College will be limited.
Barricades will stay along the route until Tuesday, February 24, Mardi Gras Day.  All barricades will be removed from the roadway following the last parade Tuesday and placed along the shoulder.

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