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City Park board votes to change park hours; may open gate between garden and amusement park

The New Orleans Botanical Garden (photo courtesy of City Park).

New Orleans City Park will now close earlier, the park’s board of commissioners decided Tuesday.

Park officials may also “experiment” with a new layout that would allow access between the park’s garden and the amusement park.

The change in hours spurred from a letter of concern written by Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, according to the park’s chief executive officer, Bob Becker. The park will be open from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset,  with an exception made for the beignet and coffee shop Morning Call, which is open around the clock.

Previously, park hours were from sunrise to 11 p.m.

“The attorney general told us: your hours are not in line with other parks and other entities,” Becker told the board during a monthly meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Becker said the Attorney General was “particularly” concerned that the park closed so late, and didn’t have an exception carved out on the books for Morning Call.

“He suggested that we change the park’s hours to conform more to normal police patrolling,” Becker added. “He was concerned that encouraging people to be in an unlit area in the park, for instance, at 10:30 at night is generally not a good practice.”

Exceptions will still be made to allow for certain activities such as tennis, football games and special events.

In order for the hours to be enforced by the New Orleans Police Department, City Council will need to formally amend the ordinance for the new adopted hours, Becker added.

This summer, park officials may also open the gate between the New Orleans Botanical Garden and Carousel Gardens Amusement Park, to allow better access between the two facilities. The change would give garden visitors access to a new cafe that opened in the amusement park.

The price of admission to see the garden would be lowered to match the price of the amusement park, Becker said. The promotion will likely begin in May and continue through the end of the summer.

“Hopefully it will be very successful and it will be something we can make permanent,” Becker added.


2 Replies to “City Park board votes to change park hours; may open gate between garden and amusement park

  1. Great News!! The AG has done such a good job of cleaning up corruption in the state that he’s now able to focus on park hours in New Orleans.

    It’s always caused me great concern when I’ve seen people jogging around Big Lake at 6:00 on December evenings. Glad to know that I won’t have to worry about people engaging in that kind of high risk behavior any more.

  2. I agree. The reason New Orleans is so great is that we are just like everywhere else! Let’s see if there are any dry parishes in the state and conform to those laws also. An entirely sober New Orleans with nothing going on would surely be easy for the police to patrol.

    Boo to Mr. Becker and the City Council for capitulating.

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