Jefferson Parish council cancels May Carnival parade dates

Jeff. Parish backs away from holding Carnival parades in May

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Jefferson Parish council backed away from a possible May date to hold carnival parades, family Gras and other major processions. They say the COVID numbers are just too high.

For the past several months Jefferson Parish officials have been avoiding canceling Mardi Gras. They pushed back the date from February 16 to late May, but in a parish with a 16% COVID positivity rate, they say the may date won’t stand.

“We know we aren’t there. The vaccines have been slower than we had hoped and our numbers are on the rise,” said Jefferson parish Councilmember Jennifer Van Vrancken.

The parish council approved a measure that would allow them to possibly set a date later for events such as carnival parades, and Family Gras, causing opponents to speak out.

“I remember 19 parades, now we have eight and if we don’t parade at all there will be Float builders costumers bead merchants who won’t be here, it’s devastating,” said float builder Mac Cantrell.

Jefferson parish council members say this was a painstaking decision because they know how much canceling Mardi Gras will hurt financially.

“Who are these bureaucrats who wreck people’s lives?” said Al Morello, a citizen from Kenner.

“Knowing there’s a fine balance between businesses and what we need to do, no decision has been made lightly,” said JP Councilmember Scott Walker.

In the end, the parish council approved a resolution that would allow them to set a date later if the Covid rate gets better.

“We have to wait for numbers before we get a date certain,” said Van Vrancken.

But some parade leaders say anything later than May might be impossible because it could impact their parade for 2022

Parish officials say they will work to support carnival krewes in any way they can, to help them survive to parade another day.

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