LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Starting tomorrow, the streets of Lafayette will be filled with floats and parade goers kicking off Mardi Gras parade season.
Lafayette Police Officer Karl Ratcliff explains that the barricades you have seen around town, are there to protect everyone.
“Just respect the barricades. Understand they’re not there to impede on your fun but they’re there to keep you safe,” said Ratcliff, “Stay on the right side of the barricade, be on the outside. Don’t put your kids on top of the barricades, don’t let them go under the barricades, don’t let them, you know, be draped over the top, don’t put them over barricades.”
It’s also important to respect those who are riding on the floats.
Krewe of Rio Vice President Blane Comeaux said one of their biggest issues is parade goers throwing beads at them.
“Because the lights are so bright we can’t see anything coming back at us,” he said, “We’ve had members of course get hit in the face, lose teeth, break glasses.”
Parents should also come up with a plan with their kids.
Set up a meet up location in case anything were to happen.
“If they get separated from you, discuss that with them,” said Ratcliff, “Have some kind of protocol in place and let them know that we’ll be there and to come and ask us if they need help with anything.”
And as always, if you see something, say something.
“If anybody see’s anything that we should know about, if you look to your left or right at any point during the parade route, you’ll see us,” said Ratcliff, “So just get our attention, let us know what’s going on and we’ll be glad to help.”
Ratcliff also recommends parade goers bring a flashlight, know their surroundings and wear reflective clothing since the parade will be held at night.