New Orleans adds Saints ramble

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 28, 2010

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Carnival season — which sees more than 70 parades roll through greater New Orleans before Fat Tuesday — is getting one more.

The Saints-crazed city plans to celebrate the team’s first-ever trip to the Super Bowl with a parade to honor them.

‘‘There will be some type of massive parade in the city of New Orleans win or lose,’’ Mayor Ray Nagin told reporters Tuesday night.

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Although his office tried to back away from the certainty of a parade on Wednesday, Nagin said he had already begun discussions with Saints officials and others.

‘‘It’s not set in concrete yet,’’ Barry Kern said on Wednesday. ‘‘But I think it will be by the end of the day.’’

One of the many things to be decided is who would pay for the parade.

New Orleans’ latest budget cut funding in several areas and put most city offices on a four-day week.

Police Superintendent Warren Riley estimated the parade would attract 200,000 people and security for it could run as much as $300,000.

Police spokesman Bob Young said Wednesday that amount could be cut, however, if the Saints parade was to roll behind a regularly scheduled Carnival parade, since police would already be on the parade route.

Meanwhile, parades scheduled to roll on the first big weekend of Mardi Gras — Feb. 6-7 — scrambled to keep from interfering with the Saints’ matchup against the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.

The Krewe of Alla moved its parade from Sunday to Saturday and will roll behind Adonis and Choctaw.

Carrolton and King Arthur will still parade on Sunday, but will both start one hour earlier — 11 a.m. for Carrolton and noon for King Arthur.

In Houma, the krewes of Hyacinthians and Titans will roll an hour earlier so Houma residents can catch the Carnival parades and make it home in time for the Super Bowl kickoff.

Nagin said the divisional playoff game against Arizona and Sunday’s NFC championship game against Minnesota each generated between $500,000 and $750,000 for the city’s economy.

Saints fans prize the upcoming Super Bowl appearance, the first in the franchise’s 43 years of existence. This is only the ninth winning season for the club, which did not get its first one for two decades.

The 31-28 overtime victory over the Vikings on Sunday night marked the first time the Saints had hosted an NFC championship game.