Krewe of Boo parade great visual for future tourism, local leaders say
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Carnival historian Arthur Hardy says Saturday’s return of the Krewe of Boo parade couldn’t have come at a better time for a city whose cultural fabric has been threatened since the start of the pandemic.
“It would be disastrous for a lot of the smaller organizations who just couldn’t withstand two years without parades happening,” said Hardy. “Even some of the bigger krewes would be affected.”
With more than 83 percent of the adult population in New Orleans having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Mayor Latoya Cantrell recently announced that, barring any massive setbacks, krewes will roll for Carnival season in 2022.
“The pent-up demand and interest in this is just symbolic of the fact that, ‘Hey, we’re back,’” Hardy said. “This is just a preview. Wait till you really see what we can do next year.”
Kelly Shultz with New Orleans & Company says tourism is experiencing a much-needed boost after a fall season that was derailed by Hurricane Ida and the Delta surge.
“Symbolically, what this will mean, and just the visual of seeing a Mardi Gras-style parade rolling through the streets of New Orleans for the first time in 20 months, you cannot underestimate how powerful that will be,” said Shultz.
“So there is a lot of interest and a lot of demand. I’ve talked to a lot of hotels that are going to be sold out this weekend.”
Shultz also says many visitors approve of the city’s vaccine and mask mandates.
“Some people have said they want to come to New Orleans because that is in place,” she said. “It makes them feel safe and gives a better degree of confidence.”
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