METAIRIE, LA – The same day veteran Captain Bob Carnesi notified news media of his personal decision to retire the Krewe of Caesar’s parade, as many as six (6) carnival krewes, including two (2) potential new parades, expressed great interest in taking over the prized Family Gras Saturday parade schedule.

“We respect Captain Carnesi’s personal decision to retire after 40 years as Captain of Caesar,” said Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken. “While we would’ve preferred a passing of the torch to continue the tradition of Caesar, we’re excited so many krewes immediately stepped up with a strong desire to secure the briefly open spot on Family Gras Saturday. It’s quite an opportunity for the Parish and shows the growing strength of Metairie Mardi Gras!”

“I have had calls from numerous members within Caesar who want to find a way to keep the Krewe together or find a way to continue to enjoy riding in Jefferson Mardi Gras,” said President Michael Yenni. “We will continue to work with the captains who wish to parade during Family Gras and allow a fair opportunity for a Krewe to step into the Saturday evening spotlight.”

As Metairie Mardi Gras enters a new renaissance, the Jefferson Convention & Visitors Bureau (JCVB) also noted that more bands performed in Jefferson Parish Carnival than at any other time in recent history.  JCVB is the organization that produces the Family Gras festival, which debuted this year at its new home in Clearview Center, and Metairie Mardi Gras’s highly competitive “Rhythm on the Route” battle of the bands, which are both sponsored by the Office of Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken.

“Family Gras is thriving!” said JCVB President and CEO Violet Peters.  “All the krewes that chose to parade the new Family Gras route are growing their membership, and we’ve received absolutely rave reviews from their riders, our vendors, and our shared festival and parade goers. We are thrilled to partner again with Councilwoman Van Vrancken and our carnival captains to guarantee Family Gras continues to grow as the most memorable experience and joyful tradition for all who attend our concerts and parades.”