Revelers: Where 2021 Mardi Gras stands during COVID-19

Future of Mardi Gras 2021

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Business owners who count on carnival season are closely watching what could, or could not, be Mardi Gras 2021.

The owner of Beads By The Dozen says retail sales are down by 70% right now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainty about one of the biggest parties in the world.

The drop is not a bag of beads to the head.

“From what we would normally see in any given year, of course we have internet orders and we will still have walk in people who come in and buy for different events like birthdays and holidays," said owner Dan Kelly.

He said his carnival store is moving forward as if there will be a Mardi Gras in 2021, but whether or not that actually happens remains to be seen.

“We decided that we were going to go ahead and start ordering 50% of what we ordered the prior year, and we’ve upped that to about 75%, we’ve also sat down with most of the Krewes we deal with and some of the Krewes have placed orders, many of them have decided not to put dates on any of the product just in the event that we don’t have a Mardi Gras this year,” Kelly said.

In Jefferson Parish, Council member Jennifer Van Vrancken said they are preparing for carnival season. She said the parish is even considering a socially distanced parade route.

“We’re doing all of our normal things like putting out our contracts to build our Mardi Gras stands getting everything in order, we have had a meeting with all of the carnival captains,” she said.

Just yesterday, The Krewe of Oshun became the first Krewe to cancel its parade due to concerns about Covid-19.

A City Hall spokesperson sent Fox 8 the following statement regarding Mardi Gras 2021 in New Orleans:

“In the current environment, it’s neither possible nor responsible to make firm predictions regarding what the public health situation will be more than four months out. While the City remains optimistic and looks forward to celebrating Mardi Gras in some form this coming spring, it is too soon to make any such determination. As the Mayor has said: what we do right now will determine what happens next. That’s why it’s critical for residents and businesses to continue to observe the safety protocols that have been put in place.”

“Oshun’s seniority will not be impacted in future years, given that their decision regarding the 2021 season was made in the context of an unprecedented public health emergency. We respect their decision, and we encourage all MG organizations to look carefully at the data and make the best decision for their members based on public health data.”

The Governor’s office said it is far too early to know what a 2021 Mardi Gras would look like.

“So much depends on the caseload this winter and the status of our hospitals and health care system then,” a spokesperson from the office of Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “We will work with local officials in the coming months to discuss Mardi Gras and other celebrations and gatherings.”

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