NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Parades canceled. Bars closed. Crowds suppressed. Mardi Gras joy is muted this year in New Orleans as authorities seek to stifle the coronavirus’s spread. And it’s a blow to the tradition-bound city’s party-loving soul.
“This year, it’ll be heartbreak,” said Virginia Saussy, a member of the Muses parade “krewe” whose home, like many along a major parade route, usually overflows with people this time of year. “I think that people have to realize how unusual it is to have this pause in our culture.”
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the annual pre-Lenten bash celebrated along much of the Gulf Coast — with the biggest celebration in heavily Catholic New Orleans. Last year’s revelry is now believed to have contributed to an early surge that made Louisiana a Southern COVID-19 hot spot.