NEW ORLEANS — Mardi Gras 2021 looks a lot different from years past due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but the celebrations will continue, just in a muted manner.
Bars are closed, parades are canceled and Bourbon Street is blocked to costumed revelers who usually pack the French Quarter, The Associated Press reported.
The pre-Lent parties that are part of the culture of New Orleans have evolved for 2021 after the same celebrations held last year are believed to have contributed to making Louisiana a COVID-19 hot spot at the start of the pandemic.
One senior at Warren Easton Charter High School wanted to march with his school’s band one last Mardi Gras before graduation.
“I think everybody looks forward to the last year of marching because I wanted to go [out] with a bang. But things happen,” Elvin King III told the AP.
Another change, there will be no Rex crowned this year, a tradition that names a prominent New Orleans man as King of Carnival.
This isn’t the first time the parades have been changed. They were canceled or moved in 1979 because of a police strike. In 2006, Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath forced the revelry to be shortened, the AP reported.
While parades won’t roll down the streets, the people can still go see float-like displays as NOLA homes are decorated as “house floats.” There will also be livestreams of virtual celebrations on nola.com.
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