It’s really something to see people voluntarily destroy their own culture. Especially in a place like the New Orleans area, where that culture, reflected most of all by Mardi Gras, is supposedly the saving grace of the place. And over a virus with a 99.8 percent survival rate, no less.
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.
New Orleans’ mayor LaToya Cantrell already killed Mardi Gras in Orleans Parish, and the big carnival krewes have followed suit by cancelling their balls, parades and other celebrations. They had to, because there is no place else they can ride. St. Tammany Parish also killed their Mardi Gras parades.
Nobody is going to care about Mardi Gras parades on Memorial Day. That will go over like a lead balloon.
And the businesses Van Vrancken is trying to save probably won’t make it to Memorial Day anyway.
So now Mardi Gras is over for 2021, and by the time 2022 comes around the infrastructure that supports Mardi Gras will be gone. The restaurants, bars, shops and other small businesses which support Carnival and make it a success won’t survive to 2022, and many of the people who own those businesses will be ruined. Lots of them will move elsewhere to start anew.
What will be left of the New Orleans area? Probably nothing good. Perhaps Antifa and Black Lives Matter can take over Mardi Gras. At least they can get permits, whether official or de-facto, to throw outdoor events.