CANCELED: Annual Carlotta Street Halloween party got too big for residents
POSTED: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 5:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 9:40am
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The annual Carlotta Street Party tradition is no more.
"A bunch of people dressed up, having a good time, drinking a little bit, and listening to some music," Will Simmons, a resident who lives near Carlotta Street, said when explaining the tradition.
For more than 30 years, residents living around the north gate of LSU have held a big block party. But organizers said today they aren't going to pay for the permits this year.
"It's not going to happen because A) we shouldn't have a party that big, B) we shouldn't need that many police," Jay Price, former organizer of the annual event, said.
Some of the younger residents in the neighborhood are disappointed.
"It's kind of a bummer. I mean, I had a blast last year,” Simmons said. “And I just think it's a fun experience."
The Northgate Merchants' Association has sponsored the party the last few years. The permits to block the streets, insurance, and security totaled $4,500. It tried to recoup some of the money by selling food at the party, but they say it wasn't worth the cost.
Organizers said that was never their intention, anyways.
"Having food trucks there, having beer trucks, having 50-60 police officers roaming around the street, it's just not what that party's supposed to be," Price explained.
To bring in revenue, the party advertised, and it resulted in people coming from beyond the parish. Where the party had traditionally held 1,500 people, it ballooned to more than 8,000 last year. Organizers say that tarnished the experience they worked so hard to build.
"Most of the people there have no idea, never met any of the people that live there, or really know any of the history or culture of the party," Price said.
For Price the goal is to take a year off and hold the party again, albeit a much smaller version.
The Merchants Association noted that it would assist in the planning, but not at the same cost as before.
So while the Carlotta Street party may never look the same, don't expect the neighborhood to stop enjoying Halloween.
"And I don't think it's going to stop any of them from having drinks in their front yard," Price said.
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