Mardi Gras celebrations in Teche Area canceled because of virus

The Bayou Mardi Gras Association canceled its parade for 2021 because of concerns over the recent upswing in COVID-19 cases.

The Mardi Gras season in the Teche Area has been effectively canceled due to COVID-19, with most major Mardi Gras parades not happening as a result of the virus.

The cancelations come after rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the Teche Area, causing many organizers to worry that Mardi Gras festivities would contribute to the spread.

The Bayou Mardi Gras Association, the organization responsible for Iberia Parish’s largest Mardi Gras parade every year, announced Thursday morning that it would not be holding a parade this year.

Bayou Mardi Gras Association’s David Wattigny said Thursday that the announcement came with much remorse, after several “out of the box” ideas were discussed.

“We talked to the normal participants and the people who support the parade, and we just couldn’t do it,” Wattigny said. “We really tried to think out of the box for this year but with rising cases in the parish we didn’t want people to think we weren’t taking it seriously.”

This will mark the first year that the Bayou Mardi Gras Parade will not roll through New Iberia since the association was formed in 2017.

In Loreauville, the annual Papa Red Dog Mardi Gras Parade which also rolls during this time of year has been canceled.

Mayor Brad Clifton said that the parade, along with the chicken run and other regular Mardi Gras festivities that happen in Loreauville will not be held at their usual time.

“We are trying to reschedule it,” Clifton said Thursday.

A spokesperson for the city of Franklin said an announcement would be made today about the fate of the Franklin Mardi Gras Parade.

The cancellations come after several major Louisiana municipalities announced they are canceling their Mardi Gras parades and events. New Orleans in particular elicited controversy after forbidding parades in the city due to COVID-19.

Krewes in Carencro, Scott and Lafayette have also announced either cancelations or major modifications to their normal parades so far this year, with many others to be announced as the month proceeds.

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