Tulsa hurricane evacuees don't agree with plans for Mardi Gras

Tuesday, December 13th 2005, 4:37 pm
By: News On 6

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Is this any time to plan a party?

Not according to some evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. They're denouncing the plans by New Orleans officials to hold a Mardi Gras celebration in February.

A refugee who's stuck in Tulsa, Oklahoma -- 51-year-old Lillie Antoine -- says, "This is not the time for fun. This is the time to put people's lives back on track."

City officials announced last month that New Orleans would hold an abbreviated Mardi Gras celebration. Civic boosters say it can help revitalize the city's economy, and lift morale.

The city is looking for corporate sponsors to pay for police overtime, and for the post-parade cleanup.

But some storm refugees and black organizations say the party preparations are insensitive to the displaced people of New Orleans.

The Louisiana president of the NAACP says it ''sends the wrong message.''