WATCH: City of New Orleans says ‘parades of any kind will not be permitted’ for Carnival 2021

WATCH: City of New Orleans says ‘parades of any kind will not be permitted’ for Carnival 2021
(Source: WVUE)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The City of New Orleans says that Mardi Gras parades will not be permitted in 2021.

According to the city’s Mardi Gras 2021 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.”

At a news conference Tuesday, city spokesman Beau Tidwell said, “parades as we’ve traditionally celebrated are not possible under the current guidelines. It’s going to feel different. It has to be different. We can’t act like this is a normal year. I don’t think this should be a surprise to anyone."

Tidwell went on to say that gatherings of more than 250 are not permitted.

"What we want to do is work with krewes to find ways forward under the current guidelines.”

The Rex organization released a statement saying, "First and foremost, the Rex Organization, along with the city’s other parading krewes, wants New Orleanians to be as safe and as healthy as possible,” said Rex Official James J. Reiss, III, who is also the Co-Chairman of the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Council.

“We are very aware of our city’s health guidelines for Phase 3.3 and what is on our city’s website regarding parades in 2021. We understand the seriousness of the pandemic, and we fully support our city’s fight against COVID-19. Rex and our fellow parading krewes are working now to determine definitive plans for Mardi Gras 2021 and anticipate being able to report to Mayor Cantrell and our city’s citizens in the coming days.”

Zulu said Tuesday the 'krewe has lost several of its members to the virus and Zulu will abide by what the city and Mayor says."

At the most recent meeting of the Mayor Cantrell’s Mardi Gras Advisory Committee, the mayor gave krewes until Nov. 15 to submit detailed plans how they would comply with the mandated health requirements.

That deadline has been moved to Dec. 5.

Carnival historian Arthur Hardy says more than a dozen captains claim that social distance requirements on floats were deal breakers, either requiring them to reduce their ridership or to acquire twice as many floats.

The website also lists several Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to Carnival:

Is the City of New Orleans celebrating Mardi Gras in 2021?

The City of New Orleans cannot cancel Mardi Gras because it is a religious Holiday, however we will not be able to celebrate the Holiday this year as we have in the past

Will there be parades in the City of New Orleans this year?

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

Are Mardi Gras Krewes holding Balls?

Some Mardi Gras Krewes may be holding modified Balls following strict local COVID-19 guidelines. Attendance at a Ball is by invitation only, therefore not open to the general public

Is Bourbon Street open for Mardi Gras?

Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street entertainment Districts are open, but subject to Local and State COVID Guidelines at all times. Capacity and hours can be subject to change. It is highly recommended that time in the city’s entertainment districts be limited and social distancing observed with mask wearing.

Is the City of New Orleans open for visitors during Mardi Gras?

This City of New Orleans is always open for business. However, all visitors must adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines which include wearing a mask in public and maintaining strict 6ft or more social distancing.

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