Krewe du Vieux will shorten its Mardi Gras 2022 route; queen Avegno will not lead parade
Another parade is getting shortened for Mardi Gras 2022 and is making other adjustments due to police staffing shortages and the omicron surge.
Krewe du Vieux, the satirical walking parade that runs through the Marigny and French Quarter, is cutting several blocks out of its 2022 parade, which rolls Feb. 12, by starting at Elysian Fields Avenue and Royal Street instead of Press and Royal streets, officials announced Monday.
“This was the least-worst of all options,” krewe officials said in a Facebook post. “KdV is disappointed to miss our home neighborhood this year, but we will make every effort to have future parades in the Marigny again.”
Most Mardi Gras parades will be shorter in 2022 due to NOPD staffing shortages. Mayor LaToya Cantrell made the announcement that the parade routes would be cut the same day she said Mardi Gras events would return after a year without parades in 2021 due to the coronavirus.
This includes all parades that roll through Uptown and Mid-City’s Endymion. Information on altered routes can be found here.
KdV officials also announced that the krewe’s queen, city health director Dr. Jennifer Avegno, will not lead the parade Feb. 12 due to COVID-19 concerns.
Avegno, who was crowned this year’s Krewe du Vieux queen in December 2021, has been at the center of the COVID-19 battle in New Orleans. During times of increased spread, she has often been one of the leaders to urge residents to follow guidelines or announce mandates, as she did in January when she put into effect another mask mandate ahead of Carnival season.
The virus has spread at an unprecedented rate due to the highly transmissible omicron variant, which has worried state and city leaders as one of New Orleans’ busiest times of year looms.
Since Friday, the Louisiana Department of Health has reported 18,683 positive COVID-19 cases and 2,127 hospitalizations. There were also 51 additional deaths since Friday, according to the latest coronavirus data.
All parts of the state remain under high risk of transmission, including Region 1, which contains Orleans Parish and other surrounding parishes.
Leaders in Orleans have touted a much higher vaccination rate than that of the rest of the state — currently at 82% of adults who have completed their series. A vaccine mandate, which will require patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test, will also be in place through Mardi Gras.