Carnival expenses add up

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 11, 2002


LULING – The Krewe of Lul rolls today at 1 p.m. on the traditional route, starting at the Ellington Swim Club on Angus Drive, right on Paul Maillard Road to River Road, right toward Sugarhouse Road and along Sugarhouse back to disbanding at St. Anthony Catholic Church.

On Sunday, the Krewe of Des Allemands likewise rolls at 2 p.m. through the streets of old Des Allemands.

All along the way, some businesses shut down, others open wide their doors and party with everyone else and emergency services remain on alert.

“It costs us a pretty penny,” commented Capt. Patrick Yoes of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office. “There’s a great deal of planning and pre-planning.”

Chief Criminal Deputy Joseph Cardella added it runs about $10,000 per parade (Luling and Des Allemands), including vehicle costs, manpower and overtime.

“We check the vendors, there’s the parking issue, traffic control and dealing with the railroad,” Cardella pointed out. In addition, since the St. Charles Parish Hospital is contained within the circle of the parade route, arrangements are already made to manage emergency vehicles. In case of fire, the Luling Volunteer Fire Department can quickly exit the parade and respond, with personnel already on board.

And what about the businesses?

Johnny Polk of Johnny’s Upholstery on River Road is ready with his traditional party.

“We just shut it down and crank up the music,” he said. “Everybody brings a grill, Mama cooks up a big pot of chili and we get people from all over.”

His business has been located there for more than eight years, and he has already seen a good deal of carnival fun, including an actual wedding in his parking lot. However, he commented, “I think they’re divorced now.”

His wife is from Venezuela, and “she loves it” because of the home-town atmosphere, far from the near-madness of downtown New Orleans.

“For 300 or so days a year, my property on the levee is not worth a dime, then people want to park there for the Krewe of Lul,” Polk said. “I bet I can make $1,000 a day to let people park there.”

However, one person who hopes to make a little money on the parade is Peyton Dufrene, who has created signed and numbered commemorative Krewe of Lul posters, a first for the krewe, and celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Dufrene, 23, is the son of Wendy and Leighton Dufrene, and is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He graduated from Hahnville High in 1996 and expects to start work soon at M Monsanto.

“I’ve been thinking about this poster for years,” Dufrene said. “It’s a good year to come up with the poster, because I thought it would be special to do for their 25th anniversary.”

The poster is a limited-edition of 350 prints and will be available at a booth near Paul Maillard and River roads during the parade. Any which remain can be purchased at Candies & Company hair and nail salon on River Road.