Spanish Town had a lot of crime when most of us bought property. We bought any way. We stuck together and chased the crime out.

The litter from the parades is no different. Most of us bought here knowing litter is a problem. We don’t want the parade to go. We want the litter to go.

Just because the neighborhood suffered from the lack of a systematic and consistent cleanup in the past, we are not destined to repeat the past, but we can bring change to rid ourselves of litter in the future.

A bunch of us know that it will take the same energy it took in fighting crime to make the litter go away and to help people to understand that you gotta clean up after the party.

Look at the University Lakes. Everybody loves the pink birds that magically appear every year. And the tradition of going out into the lake to steal your pink bird is precious. But now there are all these ugly sticks left behind from where the birds once were.

We need to all come together to preserve these unique traditions and put systems in place for litter cleanup after we all had a lot of fun.

Individuals stepped up to the plate this year for the first time in several years, and the only piece of litter I saw on Spanish Town Road Monday morning was one cup.

But we can’t celebrate yet because it is all too fragile. The money used to clean up after the parade came from the Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana — the parade organizers. The bulk of the organizing effort came from one individual in Spanish Town and a whole lot of city officials who cared. Now hopefully the responsibility will shift from the individuals to the groups and the cleanup will become institutionalized.

Our downtown is so amazing. I had some young friends ride a bus in from Loyola University in New Orleans, asking to spend the night so they could come to the Spanish Town Parade. Imagine that!

C’mon now. Patronize good restaurants. Dance a lot. Listen to musicians. Party hard — and then clean up so we can have another party. It would be sad if these unique traditions went away because the different groups can’t hear each other and institutionalize solutions to rid ourselves of the litter. Maybe there are service organizations out there who can partner with parade organizers and civic associations to help out.

Marie Constantin


Baton Rouge