Twin City Mayors and Mardi Gras Krewes discuss the future of parades and economic impact

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MONORE-WEST MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD)– “I immediately was concerned about what that is going to do to our local parades here in Monroe and West Monroe,” said Adrienne Steele, Event Chair for the Krewe De Riviere.

That reaction comes after New Orleans announced there won’t be any festivities there next year, including their Mardi Gras parades.

Mardi Gras season is about catching beads and watching parades, but this year, the season could be overshadowed by COVID-19. As of now, the Krewe of Janus and the Krewe De Riviere are figuring out what the next step will be ahead of February.

“We are starting to explore the ideas of what can we do, how can we do it, and what is the best for everyone krewe and community,” said Steele.

Both Monroe and West Monroe mayors have made a statement regarding the 2021 Mardi Gras season for Northeast Louisiana. However, city officials have not made a decision about letting parades roll.

“We are still a few months away from the Mardi Gras season, and given the uncertainty of the ongoing covid-19 restrictions, city leadership has not yet made a decision on the parade season.”

-Friday Ellis, City of Monroe Mayor

“The city of West Monroe will wait until closer to the date of the Mardi Gras parades before making any decisions as to whether to allow parades to run in West Monroe. With the expectation of a vaccination that will slow the spread of the virus, we anticipate Mardi Gras parades being allowed in the City of West Monroe.”

Staci Mitchell, City of West Monroe Mayor

“We are all sort of still in limbo. Getting a final idea of what is it going to be. Will it look different or will there just not be a Mardi Gras,” said Steele.

Krewe De Riviere says the spirit of Mardi Gras is not dead, they just don’t know what it will look like yet. If they are able to roll out, they say the parade will be covid-19 conscious. Some of those things may include different throws, wearing masks, and figuring out a social distancing plan.

We talked with the Krewe of Janus as well, they are having a meeting tonight (Wednesday) to discuss their plans and decisions for the 2021 Mardi Gras season. We will give you an update later this week. However, the celebration isn’t the only thing our community is worried about.

“Having that weekend event brings a lot of dollars to our community from nearby communities and as well as those traveling out of state. We do attract people from Arkansas, Mississippi, and even Tennessee who want to come to a family-friendly Mardi Gars,” said Alana Cooper, president of Discover Monroe-West Monroe.

The Krewe of Janus has been rolling through Monroe for years and the Krewe De Riviere is new to town, as this will be their second year. The Twin Cities have two weekends packed, hour to hour, with celebrations for Mardi Gras, with them canceled it could hurt our community.

“Those taxes that are generated from it help pay for school, police, and the many things that are utilized in our community,” said Cooper.

The State could make an announcement on parades tomorrow.

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