New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell says that Mardi Gras 2021 may not take place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Carnival season kicks off on Jan. 6, 2021, and Fat Tuesday is slated to take place on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.
What are the details?
On Tuesday, Cantrell said that cancelling all 2021 Mardi Gras festivals needs to be on the discussion table.
In an interview with The Washington Post's Robert Costa, Cantrell said, "It will give me great pause right now before I commit to saying we are moving forward with Mardi Gras 2021. We will let the data dictate the dates."
At the time of this writing, researchers at Johns Hopkins University estimate that at least 27,286 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Louisiana, and at least 1,801 people have died because of the virus.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) vocally supported Cantrell's remarks, adding, "[W]e don't know enough today to hazard a guess as to what the circumstances are going to be [surrounding Mardi Gras] at that point in time."
NOLA.com reports that Mardi Gras is the city's "crown jewel of the city's tourism industry, attracting over 1 million visitors every year who spend tens of millions of dollars at restaurants, bars, hotels, and other businesses."
The outlet reported that Mardi Gras parades have not been cancelled since 1979, when a police strike led local clubs to cancel their parades for the season. The city even held its beloved carnival amid the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
This year's Mardi Gras celebrations was held on Feb. 25, and Cantrell said she went forward with the parade because she didn't get any "red flags" from the Trump administration at the time. Cantrell shifted blame for the decision by pointing to the federal government's lack of urgency about coronavirus at the time, according to Business Insider.