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Mardi Gras 2022 is set to roll in New Orleans; officials eyeing parade route changes

mardi gras.jpg
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Mardi Gras parade.

After a year without Carnival parades due to COVID-19, Mardi Gras 2022 is set to roll in New Orleans, according to a spokesperson with Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office.

“The good news is: we are on track for the return of Mardi Gras in 2022,” said Beau Tidwell, the mayor's director of communication. “Unless we see a dramatic turn for the worse in our COVID numbers, Mardi Gras will roll once again.”

Tidwell also said the city has been in close contact with krewe captains and is still inviting their input on how to have a safe Mardi Gras during a pandemic. Cantrell said in an interview with WDSU earlier this week that parade routes could potentially be rearranged to host Carnival with less staff, possibly by putting more parades on the St. Charles and Napoleon route.

The city is concerned about bandwidth and capacity of the first responders “who have been under intense strain throughout the pandemic," Tidwell noted.

“When Mardi Gras comes back, we want to do it in the safest way possible: in terms of public health and in terms of public safety,” said Tidwell.

COVID protocols will likely be in place during Carnival. Officials anticipate extending the current vaccine mandate, which requires patrons of certain businesses to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test from the last 72 hours.

Cantrell also hinted at putting the vaccine mandate in place at the airport for visitors to adhere to, though some tourism officials said the possible rule would be a major "hurdle" in getting tourists to come back to the city.

Dr. Jennifer Avegno and her health department team will be monitoring COVID-19 cases before and after the Krewe of Boo as a test run for hosting large events during Carnival season. The health director said at a press conference this week that they are urging revelers to mask up and take part in a survey that will be accessible at the event.

The Halloween themed parade rolls on Saturday.

Check back here for more updates.

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