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New Orleans mayor says Mardi Gras 2021 is 'not canceled, just different'

Parades, however, prohibited in city due to COVID
New Orleans mayor says Mardi Gras 2021 is 'not canceled, just different'
Posted at 10:03 AM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 15:57:30-05

Mardi Gras might look a bit different in 2021.

Due to it being a religious holiday, the city cannot cancel Mardi Gras, but celebrating it safely amid the coronavirus pandemic is a different matter.

According to the City of New Orleans' Mayor LaToya Cantrell Mardi Gras 2021 FAQ page, there will be zero parades occurring in New Orleans because "large gatherings have proven to be super spreader events of the COVID-19 virus.

The official Twitter page of the city's government tweeted that Mardi Gras, which occurs the day before Ash Wednesday, "is different, not canceled."

"Mardi Gras is more than just king cakes and beads, it is a religious holiday," the tweet reads. "A season of traditions that we celebrate every year, a time that the community comes together informal, fun, and often unexpected ways."

On Monday, Mayor Cantrell reiterated on her official Facebook page that Mardi Gras 2021 is "not canceled, just different."

"With COVID-19 spreading, we need to modify [the] carnival season, so it’s safe for everyone. We can do this together!" Mayor Cantrell said.

Mayor Cantrell added that Mardi Gras Krewes, social organizations that put on parades or balls for the carnival season, has until Dec. 5 to submit ways on how they'll "prevent unstructured crowds of strangers" and make sure "safety protocols are in place at the time of the event."

Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street will be open, but officials will require patrons to adhere to local and state COVID-19 guidelines at all times.

According to the FAQ page, visitors are welcome to New Orleans, but they must wear a mask in public, social distance, and follow local COVID-19 protocols.

City officials stated individuals could host private parties at their residence as long as they follow state and local COVID guidelines.

Mardi Gras is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.