Though COVID-19 may be complicating celebrations and gatherings for this upcoming holiday season, the City of New Orleans is taking safety precautions into 2021.
Beau Tidwell, Communications director for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, stated during a press conference on Tuesday that while Mardi Gras celebrations aren’t necessarily cancelled, the traditional practices are sure to look different next year. The city can’t exactly cancel all celebrations of Mardi Gras, given that it is a religious holiday, but those looking to don their beads for the large crowds may have to modify their plans for the February event.
According to the official New Orleans website, Mardi Gras celebrations in 2021 will not feature the typical crowded parades.
“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 city’s FAQ reads.
In addition to modifying their Mardi Gras plans, NOLA officials urge celebrators to abide by all local and state COVID-19 guidelines such as maintaining social distance and correctly wearing face masks.
“While we certainly want to move forward and find ways that we can celebrate, and we can mark this occasion, we have to do it safely,” Tidwell continued during the press conference.
Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans have not only become a staple in Louisiana culture but have also attracted visitors from all over the world. As of Tuesday, New Orleans is experiencing an outbreak or is at extreme risk, officials shared.
In #NewOrleans, we’ve raised the #COVID19 threat level to red, indicating an active outbreak. That’s due to rising cases, a rising infection rate, and a positive test rate that has nearly doubled in the last week.
— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) November 17, 2020