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Mardi Gras 2021 still uncertain

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Published: Aug. 13, 2020 at 10:13 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - From Louisiana’s highest office to the mayor’s advisory committee, all Mardi Gras decision-makers wish they knew more about the future of the season.

Nearly 60 krewe leaders met both in-person and via Zoom to get on the same page about Carnival 2021, but the word that kept getting repeated was “if” it could even happen.

“Let’s look forward to putting on a great celebration to the extent we’re allowed to do so,” said Zulu representative, Elroy James

Following two tragic accidents this past carnival season, the mayor tasked the committee with figuring out how to make the event safer. They will also compile a list on how to hold carnival under coronavirus. Rex and Zulu’s representatives say a number of these efforts may mirror each other.

“A marketing campaign is going to be a big part of that telling people to wear a mask, socially distance, or other items they can do to keep himself safe while attending a parade as it’s a natural extension of what we were doing in regards to the tragic happenings of last year, and again we just want to be proactive and help the city in any way we can should we be allowed to have Mardi Gras… I imagine you’re going to see some parades throw masks. Elroy is wearing an awesome Zulu mask,” said Rex representative, James Reiss.

But the committee has no deciding power. The governor weighed in saying the future of carnival will be a decision made with local leaders, though he says they can’t do so until they can analyze COVID 19 data at that time.

“Quite frankly I’m just not able to tell them what they can expect,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind it was Mardi Gras season of 2020 that brought what was it 10 million visitors to Louisiana or whatever it was all over the country all of the world that caused the coronavirus to seize so quickly in Orleans...in Jefferson Parish.”

“We know it’s going to be different than anything before how it will look that’s the big question,” said historian, Arthur Hardy.

This wouldn't be the first time parades were canceled, but historian Arthur Hardy says Mardi Gras can never be canceled.

“It’s a spirit, it’s a day things would happen minus floats and marching bands but it’s too early to tell…no one wants to use the word cancel but privately people are saying hope you can do it just not sure,” he said.

Lieutenant governor Billy Nungesser attended the meeting. He told krewe leaders with the legislature lifting the cap on in-state expenditures, his office would do everything they can financially to support Mardi Gras.

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