November 21, 2020
New Orleans will not be holding a parade for the 2021 Mardi Gras celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as large gatherings are being curtailed in the city.
Officials of the city of New Orleans have confirmed that they cannot cancel Mardi Gras because it is a religious holiday. However, it will not be celebrated in the usual fashion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Mardi Gras celebration would not be involving any parades of any sort as officials are doing all to curb large public gatherings that have been known to spread the deadly virus quickly.
According to reports, there has been a spike in the number of positive cases in the city, leading to a series of strict policies enacted by the mayor. Although visitors are still allowed into the city, everyone has been admonished to wear their face mask and observe the mandatory social distancing.
The Mayor's office has said that they are considering other ways of making the carnival fun without jeopardizing people's health. According to Mayor LaToya Cantrell, the parade's cancellation is mainly based on a 250-person cap on outdoor crowds in New Orleans.
City spokesman Beau Tidwell reportedly said that no parades would take place during the weeks leading up to and including Fat Tuesday because they cannot meet restrictions meant to slow the virus's spread.
The 2020 festival brought the city of New Orleans about $145 million.
The loss of the parade means that some nonprofit organizations that depend on revenues from the event may have to struggle for funding. Suzanne Raether, the director of The Roots of Music, a nonprofit, said the organization would miss out on about $60,000 in funding following the parade's cancellation.
Nonprofits are not the only ones losing out on the revenues, which have been said to be New Orleans' biggest tourist draw. Two Tulane University professors revealed in a study commissioned by parade groups, that the 2020 festival brought the city of New Orleans about $145 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly linked the massive cases of the virus in the city to the February festival of this year. According to reports, Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng is considering moving Mardi Gras to a later date next year if the number of COVID-19 cases does not improve.
Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and was traditionally the last chance to use up any fat in the larder before the 40-day austerities of Lent.
November 18, 2020