Ever since the “Mistick Krewe of Comus” was organized in 1857, New Orleans has started partying the 12th night after Christmas and not let up til Ash Wednesday. It’s an orgy of food, drink, and dancing without parallel in North America.
But it is not to be in 2021.
It’s been years since I ventured to St Charles Avenue for the official big-time Mardi Gras parades. I lost interest in being surrounded by 100,000 people, half of them on towering stepladders. The smaller parades like Krewe of Red Beans, ‘tit Rex, and St Anne are another matter. These little neighborhood parades evoke the spirit of Carnival that I remember from when I was a kid. Attendance has been, and will in the future, be mandatory.
Big or small, all New Orleans parades for the 2021 Carnival season are now officially cancelled by an edict from the mayor’s office.
The last time Mardi Gras parades were cancelled was in 1979 under Mayor Marc Morial. Before that it had been during the Korean War.