City of N.O. cancels Mardi Gras parades
Mayor LaToya Cantrell, speaking at a news conference this morning, announced what many in the city had feared for months: New Orleans Mardi Gras parades in 2021 were officially cancelled due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
Cantrell acknowledged she was following the state statutes intended to halt the spread of the deadly virus. However, the City of New Orleans has imposed its own set of more restrictive policies over the course of the last nine months with regard to fighting the novel coronavirus and has never before relied on the state to determine its agenda before.
Carnival captains, who had been meeting with the city’s Mardi Gras Advisory Board over the course of the last several months, spoke to the CCJN, objecting to many of the terms they were expected follow by the city. Socially distancing float riders by six feet, in particular, was an unreasonable and unworkable requirement, they protested. Such limitations would have required doubling the number of floats (and tractors) in a given parade or would have resulted in a loss of riders. Either solution was not practical, they complained.
Jefferson Parish officials have not yet cancelled parades in their parish for Mardi Gras, although Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng today acknowledged they are not considering hosting parades that might have otherwise rolled in Orleans Parish.
This is a developing story.