No Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans during 2021
NEW ORLEANS - The position on parades for the 2021 Mardi Gras season in New Orleans is now clear for the city amid the COVID-19 pandemic: There won't be any.
According to the city's website, “parades of any kind will not be permitted this year because large gatherings have proven to be super spreader events of the COVID-19 virus.” The announcement comes after Mayor LaToya Cantrell said last week that Mardi Gras 2021 is “not canceled, just different.”
Krewe captains have to submit alternate celebration plans by Dec. 5.
The Krewe of Endymion sent this message to its members:
“As you may already know, today the City of New Orleans stated that no parades will be allowed during the celebration of Mardi Gras 2021. This announcement came as a total surprise to the New Orleans Mardi Gras community. The Mayor's Mardi Gras Advisory Committee, which is comprised of representatives of all Mardi Gras Krewes, met with the Mayor on November 5, 2020.
At that meeting, the Krewes were tasked to develop proposals for a safe Mardi Gras celebration. These proposals were to be presented to the City on December 5, 2020. The cancellation of all 2021 Mardi Gras parades before these proposals were presented is a shock.
A large number of major Krewes were to propose an alternate parade route to the Mayor that would allow better social distancing and lead to a safer Mardi Gras celebration. We were not able to make this proposal to the Mayor given her premature cancellation announcement. We will now propose postponement of parades until the Spring by which time a COVID-19 vaccine should be available and the virus is better controlled.
Details on how these changes will affect your membership will be announced at a later date. Please bear with us as we as we navigate through these difficult times.”
Business owners along parade routes say the change will cause a big hit to their revenue.
"Mardi Gras carries us throughout the entire year," said Taylor Hill, the General Manager of Tacos and Beer on St. Charles Avenue. "Last year [the Mardi Gras revenue] helped us get through the pandemic, and I just don't know what we're going to pull out of the hat this year to make it work."
Baton Rouge Mardi Gras
City officials last said on November 6, it was discussing "modified" events with Baton Rouge krewes.
"At this point we have informed most of the parade organizers we are considering modified events in light of the pandemic to ensure we protect our economy and health. In the coming weeks, we will continue those discussions with parade organizers and our medical community to determine the best path forward for each event," the mayor's office said.
Mardi Gras is Tuesday, February 16; Parades in Baton Rouge will traditionally roll during the weekends leading up to Mardi Gras.