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COVID-19 weighs concerns for krewe captains planning for Carnival 2022

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 11:07 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The New Orleans Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Council met Thursday evening to go over plans for Carnival 2022. The council invited Deputy Secretary Mark Thomas of the Louisiana Department of Health to speak at the meeting and discuss the surge in cases as well as safety measures when it comes to COVID-19.

“As we talk about Mardi Gras season and we talk about the krewe season, it’s gonna be important to have as many of your members and your krewe members vaccinated when that time comes,” said Thomas.

He stressed the importance of getting vaccinated now so that carnival festivities can happen later.

“The good news is we have time and we’re smart enough to know how to beat it down. Now will we?” said Carnival Historian Arthur Hardy.

That’s the big question, according to Hardy who said at this point in time there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to COVID-19 trends and how the virus will impact carnival season.

“Nobody wants to take a step backward, but we do that now, we pay for it in the fall and you’ve got French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, and then Mardi Gras, and all those things will be determined by what we do in August,” he said.

In Jefferson Parish, planning for carnival season is already underway with talks of bringing back Family Gras. But first, Tardi Gras on September 25, 2021, remains on schedule.

“I’m gonna keep planning and hold out hope for the best,” said Jefferson Parish Councilmember for District 5 Jennifer Van Vrancken. “I certainly don’t want to react to something prematurely because we really don’t know what it’s gonna look like two months from now.”

Van Vrancken said the council is waiting to see what happens with the current COVID surge before making any decisions on Tardi Gras. She adds they are watching the numbers when it comes to COVID cases, and says the good news is they are seeing an increase in vaccination rates across Jefferson Parish.

“That’s people I think recognizing the only way out of this is to get vaccinated,” she said.

Back at the Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Council, there are still a lot of loose ends.

“If this virus is the thing of the past of at least under control, I think all systems a go,” said Hardy. “If not, we’re really gonna have to take a look at it and I’m not sure where we’ll be headed then.”

But planning continues with hopes of a big return for Carnival 2022.

The Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Council meets next on October 21, 2021.

For information on Tardi Gras or questions on how to participate, contact the Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau, or the Jefferson Parish Council.

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