With Mardi Gras 2021 close around the corner, many Carnival krewes are facing hard decisions as the season creeps closer.
After the Krewe of Oshun rolled out as the first to cancel for Mardi Gras 2021, several other krewes have also decided not to parade next year.
Just like all other major events during the pandemic, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is already shaping up for an unprecedented season.
Carnival historian Arthur Hardy says there are still so many unknowns right now regarding Carnival season 2021.
“There are two or three that are kind of not in great shape financially before this started. So we’re just going to have to wait and see. And a lot of businesses are affected by this,” Hardy told FOX 8 News.
Here’s a running list of krewes already announcing plans to cancel parades amid the pandemic:
This list is continuously being updated as more krewes announce plans to cancel parades for the 2021 Carnival season. Check back for updates as we get them.
Krewe of Oshun
The Krewe of Oshun was the first Carnival krewe to pull the plug on its parade in 2021.
The krewe’s captain said it made the decision not to roll due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Historically, the Krewe of Oshun kicks off the slew Uptown parades to roll in New Orleans each season with its Friday night trek down St. Charles Avenue. Oshun plans to return to their usual route and time the following season in 2022.
Founded in 1996, the Krewe of Oshun is named for the Yoruba goddess of love and intimacy. The 2021 parade would have taken place on Friday, Feb. 5.
Krewe of NOMTOC
One of only two parades still rolling on the Westbank, the Krewe of NOMTOC, decided to cancel in 2021.
In a letter to the city, the Krewe of NOMTOC requested to cancel its parade based on the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the krewe is facing extreme economic hardships.
According to Carnival historian Arthur Hardy, NOMTOC, which stands for “New Orleans’ Most Talked Of Club,” has paraded since 1970. The predominately African-American krewe has more than 500 members.
In 2020, the krewe celebrated 50 years with a 26-float procession and the theme, “’NOMTOC’, 50 Years Strong in Algiers.” NOMTOC traditionally rolls on the Saturday before Mardi Gras.
Krewe of Perseus
In Slidell, the Krewe of Perseus canceled its 51st annual float parade for 2021.
Depending on coronavirus conditions, the krewe may convert to a walking parade in Olde Town for 2021 only. The krewe will meet with city officials to work out possible details on a date, time and route.
“Again, we want to push forward and put together a great walking parade this year so that we can come back with a wonderful float parade in 2022,” the krewe announced on its Facebook page.
Founded in 1970, the Krewe of Perseus was scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 31.
Krewe of Slidellians
According to Carnival historian Arthur Hardy, the Krewe of Slidellians also announced they are abandoning their plans to parade in 2021.
The all-female krewe was founded in 1947 by the Slidell Women’s Civic Club. The parade was also scheduled to roll on Sunday, Jan. 31.
St. John Parish Parades
St. John Parish officials canceled all three Carnival parades rolling in the parish for the 2021 season.
Three parades were scheduled to take place this season: the Krewe of Towahpahsah in Reserve, Krewe du Monde in LaPlace and Krewe of Dage in LaPlace.
Parish officials cited the “uncertainty associated with COVID-19” as the reason for canceling this year’s events.
“Planning and logistics for all of the parades must be done months in advance and uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 and the phased reopening makes this close to impossible for our Krewes and parade stakeholders,” said Parish President Jaclyn Hotard. “It is hard to imagine Mardi Gras without our local parades; however, planning for events to occur in February simply isn’t possible with this many unknowns.”
Krewe of Red Beans
The Krewe of Red Beans announced plans to cancel all three of their Lundi Gras parades in 2021: The Krewe of Red Beans parade, the Dead Beans parade and its newest parade, the Brazilian-themed Faijao.
In a release, the krewe said they made the decision to cancel to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus, in an effort to keep both marching members and audiences safe.
“In good conscience, we cannot parade because we do not want to create a super spreader event. Realistically, audiences will not be standing six feet part and all wearing masks,” said Krewe of Red Beans founder Devin DeWulf.
Instead of the parades, the krewe says it’s planning a safe “bean art” event on its parade routes.
The krewe says they’re looking forward to 2022, which will give them even “more time to create fantastic bean suits.”
“We look forward to a huge year on Monday, February 28, 2022,”DeWulf said.
For the past decade, the Red Beans Parade has celebrated with creative suits made from beans while parading on Lundi Gras in the Marigny and Treme. In 2018, the group launched a new sub-krewe, the Dead Beans Parade, which starts in Mid-City. This year, marked a launch of a new sub-krewe the Brazilian-themed Feijao.
Krewe du Vieux
Krewe du Vieux announced they will not parade or host ball in 2021.
The krewe says it fears the events simply wouldn’t be safe amid the pandemic. Instead of a parade, the krewe says it plans to make satirical installations and will participate in community and charity support projects.
“Krewe du Vieux 2021 will be a cornucopia of different activities that deliver our usual biting satire and irreverent commentary, while also recognizing and honoring the courage and perseverance that it takes to get our city through these challenging times,” the krewe said in the announcement.
Contact us here if your krewe has details about parade cancellations or more updates for Mardi Gras 2021.
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