NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Carnival krewes are certainly having to make some decisions as the carnival season creeps closer.
Tuesday, we learned the city granted the cancelation of the Krewe of NOMTOC parade. That’s the second krewe to cancel their 2021 parade.
The Krewe of NOMTOC is a big one. FOX 8′s Mardi Gras Historian Arthur Hardy says it’s one of two parades on the Westbank. It’s predominantly African American and has more than 500 members. Hardy says they’ve been parading since 1970.
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.
There’s been no official decision made yet from the city or the state about whether carnival parades will be able to roll in 2021, but the city is giving krewes the option right now not to roll. If that happens, the city says krewes will not lose its seniority or parade date in the future. The city also says krewes will not be expected to maintain a certain number of floats or bands if they decide to roll.
“To be clear, this is not canceling Mardi Gras parades. This is simply a common sense protection for krewes to choose to avail themselves should their organization want to participate. It also protects them because within the Mardi Gras ordinance, you have to have a certain number of floats. You have to have a certain number of elements to your parade. This could also give them the flexibility to change what their parade might look like this year,” says Councilwoman Kristin Palmer.
“They really need some direction. It’s getting very late in the game. Mardi Gras might be four months off, but there’s a coronation ball in three days. Some others have been canceled. Many organizations have decided they’ll hold their royalty over to 2022 knowing that this year is going to be half baked, if you will,” says Arthur Hardy.
We spoke with the Krewe of Endymion. Krewe leaders say Endymion is moving forward. They have their 3,000 riders, they’re ordering throws and preparing their floats for the big parade on the Saturday before Mardi Gras. They have no intention of canceling, but obviously they too are waiting for the final decision from the city or the state. Right now, there’s no timeline of when that will happen.
Arthur Hardy tells FOX 8, the majority of krewes are hoping to hear something by November 1st. Arthur Hardy says the sooner a final decision is made the better.
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