Festivals, fairs to look different under Phase 3 guidelines, medical experts urge continued mitigation measures

Festivals, fairs to look different under Phase 3 guidelines, medical experts urge continued mitigation measures

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The St. Bernard Parish Crawfish Festival, after a year’s hiatus announced a comeback with new festival dates April 29th to May 2nd.

“We don’t want any problems whatsoever and the last thing we want to do as an organization is to spread this disease,” said organizer, Cisco Gonzales.

Initially dauted by the state’s phase three guidelines, organizer, Cisco Gonzales says he wants to make sure they get it right. He says in a matter of hours, 2019′s vendors, music line up, boilers were all on board to hold the festival in 2021.

“It’s been phenomenal falling in place it’s just been a godsend coming into place,” said Gonzales. However, under the guidelines, the festival will look and feel a little different.

Gonzales says years past they boiled for more than 130,000 people. With various social distancing measures and 50 percent capacity on the festival grounds, Gonzales says gate keepers will have to keep tabs and limit the number of people allowed in per the state fire marshal’s guidance.

“That’s my only nervousness because we have so many people coming in at one time, so if we’re at capacity they have to wait a little longer,” said Gonzales.

“They gotta have the social distancing. They can’t be dancing, you know that’s gonna be hard. And then a way in which you you sell concessions or serve food if it’s a you know if it’s the Crawfish Festival, the Jambalaya festival in Gonzales, you know, the way in which you serve food is much different than just passing a bowl or fork in it you know it’s going to be packaged and people have to have a socially distance place to consume that food,” said State Fire Marshal, Butch Browning.

“The short answer is you don’t want to spend time in crowds in the middle of a pandemic,” said LSU Health’s Dr. Benjamin Springgate.

Medical experts still caution to continue the mitigation measures underway, saying the future of the virus, its variants, and vaccine impacts are still hard to predict.

“We want to be cautious still glad that we do have some things at work and that are going to hopefully allow us to get back to normal in the future but that time isn’t quite yet,” said Springgate.

Nearly a year since covid cancelled festivals, Gonzales says he’s just excited to give everyone a reason to come back together.

“I feel that this festival is going to be one of the largest income festivals we’ve ever had,” said Gonzales.

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