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Editorial: Stay safe and sane during Carnival 1998 and have some fun

L’Observateur / February 4, 1998

The carnival season is here, and that means too many parties, too muchfood, too loud music and public drunkenness for some people. Not to throwa damper on anyone’s Carnival fun, but there are a few things one shouldremember and take heed of each year, whether you enjoy Carnival in theRiver Parishes or other Mardi Gras-type activities in south Louisiana.

Remember your children and also keep an eye on other people’s children aswell. During parades, enthusiastic youths often don’t pay attention tomoving vehicles and zip around people in search of throws. The joy of lifeis with them. Let’s not allow an accident to rob them of that life.

Keep in mind as well the example you set to your own children. Even ifsome stores sell “family packs” of beer, it doesn’t mean drinking shouldbe a family affair. One doesn’t need alcohol to have a good time and it setsa poor example to children as to their own present and future behavior.

Children need to know that Carnival in the River Parishes is at heart afamily event, by families and for families.There is always violence at mass gatherings of people, as well aspickpockets, car burglars and thieves. Taking some common-senseprecautions can help keep you from becoming a victim of crime. Makecertain your car is locked and in a safe neighborhood. Be constantly awareof people around you. Don’t carry large amounts of cash. If someonebecomes violent or abusive, leave and report it to the nearest policeofficer. Don’t argue. Don’t fight. It’s not worth it.

If you are with children at a parade, have an agreed-upon spot to meet andhave them frequently check in with you. Don’t just turn them loose forhours at a time.

Be aware of where you parked your car. Jot down the street address andblock number to help you locate it later, when you may be exhausted,confused and possibly irritated. It could also save you embarrassment ifyou simply lose the car and report it as stolen when it’s simply in adifferent block or street than what you remember.

We strongly encourage you not to linger until after dark. You are muchmore likely to become a victim of a mugging or other violent crime afterthe sun goes down.

It all comes down to being aware, using common sense and looking out foryour neighbors. These are lessons we could use any day of the year, and notsimply at Mardi Gras.

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