NEW ORLEANS — The big question for Mardi Gras krewes and revelers ready to break out their purple, green, and gold is will we have a Mardi Gras 2021? Carnival season is less than six months away, but uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 could mean changes or no Mardi Gras at all.
"As far as we're concerned, we're ready," said Endymion President, Dan Kelly.
Like this time every year, lights, paint, props and elaborate decorations are being added to floats in the Endymion den.
"Costumes are being made, masks are being made," Kelly said.
Kelly and the rest of his krewe are moving forward with preparations for the upcoming Mardi Gras.
"We're rolling just as if we're going to have a normal Mardi Gras," he said.
Barry Kern with Kern Studios and Mardi Gras World is also hopeful to see Mardi Gras 2021
"If we can't do a safe carnival, then it won't happen, but in my mind, if everyone is wearing a mask and everyone in the crowd is wearing a mask, and there's a treatment out there, I think there's a good opportunity that we'll be able to have Carnival," Kern said.
The state or city won't make an official call until it's clear what early 2021 will look like regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think we all very, very much want to see Mardi Gras come back, whether or not that happens is going to depend on what the data shows and what happens with this pandemic in the months ahead of us," said Beau Tidwell, Communications Director for the City of New Orleans.
If we do have parades next year, throws may be a little more generic. Instead of buying beads and cups with '2021' on them, riders are buying throws that won't have any dates in case they have to save them for the following year.
"We have picked our theme out already and the floats are being decorated as per the theme, but for this year we're not going to put a date on it in the event we can't have Mardi Gras, then we'll keep with the same theme for 2022," Kelly said.
"In the last 150 years of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, there are very few times it's had to be canceled, but it has had to be canceled. I don't think that's going to happen next year," Kern said.
Either way, krewes will be ready if they get the green light to roll.
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