New Orleans Bonfire Cancelled


The traditional New Year's Eve bonfire in Mid-City won't happen this year because organizers were not able to raise enough money for permits, they said Monday.

Organizer Mary Hogan said the community couldn't get the $10,000 necessary to secure permits from the police and fire departments for the event.

Each year since the 1940s, neighbors bring their Christmas trees to the neutral ground on Orleans Avenue and set them ablaze. In recent years, the crowds have grown, and police and firefighters worry that it has become a safety hazard.

Last year, officials stepped up precautions.

"I'm looking forward to seeing it happen," Nick Fraiche, who lives in Mid-City, said before the event was canceled. "Last year was a little bit different. They had barricades and whatnot, (and) a lot of police protection. It's a big crowd every year. Everybody is looking forward to it."

Some have had concerns about the combination of fireworks with the bonfire.

"We are happy that the fireworks have been limited somewhat because they can be a little carried away but ... it's just a sense of community," said Helen Hester, who also lives in Mid-City.

Last year, the police and fire departments waived the permit fees for the event, but that was not the case this year.

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