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‘I think there’s much more than just a chance’: Residents hoping for a greenlight for Carnival 2022

Mayor's Mardi Gras meeting
Mayor's Mardi Gras meeting
Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:57 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell spoke to her Mardi Gras Advisory Council on the city’s outlook for Mardi Gras with less than 100 days to go until the start of Carnival season.

It’s the big question-- Will carnival parades happen in New Orleans next year? At Thursday night’s council meeting, krewe captains finally got... some answers.

“You all remember March 2020 and how we were the hotspot for the country. We do not want to be that again,” said Cantrell. “We want to be able to demonstrate to the world that we’re taking their and all of our health very seriously. And it’s not just during Carnival but absolutely what happens after Carnival.”

Cantrell said all eyes will be on the upcoming Krewe of Boo Halloween parade on October 23. The City wants to use Krewe of Boo as a model to watch and see if-- and how-- the city is impacted after the parade. Ultimately, city leaders say that will determine whether Carnival can happen safely.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno, director for the city’s health department, said COVID cases are trending in the “right direction.”

She said since the peak of the Delta variant surge on August 10, cases are down more than 80 percent and hospitalizations are down statewide.

But there’s still work to do and she advises people not to let their guard down. She said what happens now will determine the future.

Krewes will also include COVID safety measures for Carnival season. Riders and marching krewes must wear masks, be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID PCR test in order to participate.

“We sent it out to our 3200 members and most of them came back positive saying we’ve already gotten vaccinated,” said Dan Kelly, president of Endymion. “So I think everybody is gonna work toward making it happen.”

Carnival Historian Arthur Hardy said after the meeting, he felt encouraged.

“It’s gonna be more restricted than we had hoped it would be but a lot better than last year when we had nothing so it’s more than half glass full,” he said.

With four months to go until the main event, it’s full speed ahead... for now.

“I think there’s much more than just a chance,” said Dave Mulnick, a representative for a carnival krewe. “I have a very good feeling about Carnival this year with the precautions that we’re gonna have to take.”

And many are feeling like this will be the biggest Mardi Gras yet.

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