by Kevin Allman
The Department of Parks & Parkways issued the permit for the annual New Year's Eve bonfire in the neutral ground of 4200 block of Orleans Avenue, putting in place the final piece of the puzzle that will allow the Mid-City neighborhood to continue the decades-old tradition. (For the backstory, see this week's lead news story, "Burning, Man").
Virginia Blanque, vice-president of the Mid-City Neighborhood Association, sent along this list of guidelines agreed upon by the neighborhood committee and city officials:
The Mid-City Bonfire Committee Guidelines
No Fireworks In or around bonfire(City Ordinance No. 123-45.a)
The N.O.F.D. will extinguish the fire immediately if fireworks are tossed into the fire. If you want to see this tradition continued, no fireworks.
Do Not Throw Items in Fire
Only fire personnel only can place items in fire. If you bring a tree place it in the designated area.
No Glass Containers
Respect the barricades, volunteer marshals & the NOPD & NOFD
Be Nice Or Leave
This is a family-friendly neighborhood event. Please behave accordingly.
Do Not Litter
Please take your trash with you when leaving to dispose of properly.
The citizens who worked frantically around the Christmas holiday to work out a compromise wish to thank the New Orleans Fire Department, the New Orleans Police Department and the Parks and Parkways Commission for their willingness to find a compromise. Also thank you to New Orleans Roofing and Metal for volunteering to build a metal fire pit, John Cummings for your support in obtaining the necessary insurance and to the Friends of St. Patrick Park organization which agreed to request the necessary permits.