Attributable to Covid-19, Mardi Gras parades are canceled in New Orleans subsequent yr
“I want to be very clear. Mardi Gras 2021 will not be canceled. It will look different. The Mayor has said this very consistently at every stage,” said Beau Tidwell, communications director for Mayor LaToya Cantrell, at a Tuesday press conference.
Carnival, which is scheduled to be celebrated on February 16, 2021, is a religious holiday and therefore cannot be canceled, according to the city’s website. However, as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the city and the number of new cases nears critical levels, the city is placing some restrictions – most notably canceling parades to prevent a super-spreader event.
“Given what we currently know about the pandemic, this is by no means responsible,” Tidwell said.
“So while we certainly want to go forward and find ways we can celebrate, and we can mark the occasion, we must do it safely. We have … 10 more deaths in the past two weeks. The positivity rate has doubled the last week.”
While the city continues to allow visitors – with both Bourbon Street and Frenchmen Street remaining open – the city continues to require everyone in public to wear masks and maintain social distance. “It is highly recommended that you limit your time in the city’s entertainment districts and observe social distancing while wearing masks,” the mayor’s website said. The mayor’s office accepts suggestions from residents on how to safely hold the carnival. The loss of parades means that nonprofits like The Roots of Music, whose revenues depend on the parades, may face problems. Roots chief executive Suzanne Raether said the organization will miss out on about $ 60,000 in funding.
“While this will have a dramatic impact on our finances, The Roots of Music fully supports our city’s decision to cancel the Carnival parades in 2021,” Raether said in a statement.
The news comes as Covid-19 cases continue to surge across the country, with record numbers of hospitalizations and daily cases. Many states are issuing a new wave of mask mandates and other restrictions to help fight the virus. Some places also advise against public holidays.