The Louisiana Mardi Gras celebration is acclaimed for their loud music, colorful costumes, and scenic views. Factors that make parades so extravagant can be challenging to some visitors who are on the spectrum. However, this year is different because Mardi Gras is implementing their first ever quite zone for guest with autism. Thanks to a concerned mother who approached the local police about her son’s special sensory needs.
The quiet zone is at the end of the parade and is welcome to guests of all ages, with sensory restraints and disabilities. The quiet zone will be tested out for the first time Sunday, March 3rd at 3:30, during the Children’s parade. The sensory friendly zone will be indicated by various signs as well as police force. The zone has views of all floats and access to all traditional festival beads and attire.
Although the quiet zone will still feature music, the volume will be carefully moderated, to avoid any disturbances. Allowing families to have a safe and enjoyable outing with their loved ones. All while experiencing everything the parade has to offer in a calmer, less crowded atmosphere.
According to WAFB9 News, Dr. Osburn, who works with Mcneese’s Autism Program, states that “by applying a few simple changes along the parade route can make all the difference, while retaining the celebratory spirit”.