TODAY: Jefferson Parish council to discuss Mardi Gras 2021; efforts underway to salvage parades

Jefferson Parish to discuss Carnival 2021

METAIRIE (WVUE) -The Jefferson Parish council will take up the 2021 Carnival season at its meeting Wednesday at 10 a.m.

On the table...a proposal to salvage the Carnival season and parades, just not on Fat Tuesday.

Part of the on-going discussion includes moving parades to Memorial Day weekend.

The idea of moving parades to May is on the belief a COVID vaccine will be available to the public, and even then, there are plans for safety measures.

In amendments to the parish’s Carnival ordinance, Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken proposes screening everyone who will be participating and requiring them to wear masks and gloves. Band instruments will also be required to have bell covers.

And there’s a possibility of removing viewing stands since krewes may not have royalty to toast.

Van Vrancken says she hopes to have some form of parading in 2021 because some many businesses rely on Carnival season.

“If you are a Carnival organization or a business that’s focused on Carnival, you really only have one opportunity in a calendar year. That’s why it really became important for us to have those discussions and figure out a way to balance safety and being able to have the show go on.”

In the proposal, krewes that choose not to parade in 2021 won’t be penalized.

“This decision was made after much discussion and thoughtful deliberation. We have taken in to consideration the health, safety and welfare of our citizens and the fact that we remain in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with numbers continuing to rise,” Cooper said. “We want to discourage any event that will draw large crowds and possibly endanger the health of our citizens or possibly put our first responders at risk,” said Cooper.

The all-female Krewe of Isis will not parade next year, according to FOX 8 Mardi Gras Historian Arthur Hardy. The krewe had just moved its route from Metairie to Kenner.

In Orleans Parish, 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.”

The Krewe of Zulu announced Dec. 3 that its Board of Directors voted not to elect a 2021 King Zulu or Zulu Characters.

“Not since 1979 has Zulu not paraded through the streets of New Orleans. While none of us like this situation, we fully accept the science and support the decision to forego parades for February 2021,” a statement read.

No monarchs, including Rex and the Queen of Carnival, will be named.

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