BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - We are now exactly 90 days away from Fat Tuesday. After a viral social media post hinting at the cancellation of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a handful of Coast krewes double down on plans to let the good times roll. As Coast krewes continue to drop like flies, city leaders are still hesitant to pull the trigger.
During last week’s Biloxi City Council meeting, Councilman Kenny Glavan asked Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich if, at this time, there was a plan to proceed “with Mardi Gras, and parades, and stuff like that?”
Gilich responded by saying that “The parades, as far as Mardi Gras, are still in question. Within two or three weeks prior, I think we’re planning on saying go or no-go.”
So for now, the word on Mardi Gras parades in Biloxi is to wait and see. COVID-19 is changing, and will continue to change, the way we do almost everything. The Gulf Coast Carnival Association knows firsthand as large parts of their annual celebration have been canceled.
“Well no, we’re not planning on having everything. We’re not going to the hotel this year. We pushed our royalty back to next year," said GCCA Board Chairman Kenny Holloway. “The only time we didn’t roll a parade was during war and the Depression. Right after Katrina, we rolled a parade. It’s really up to the city and the mayor and the governor. Until somebody like that says we can’t do it, we’re planning on going forward with it."
All is not totally lost. GCCA brass has made arrangements to continue some traditions for not only their members but South Mississippians as well.
“We are planning on having a celebration at the Coliseum. That will be on Saturday night. Sunday we’re planning on having a crawfish boil for the sponsors and then we’re planning on having the parade on Tuesday, Fat Tuesday," Holloway said.
Biloxi’s Krewe of Neptune is also working to hold all events as scheduled. A statement from the organization president Gerald Everett said “All plans remain unchanged at this time. We expect to have a 2021 carnival season that is as normal as possible. The Krewe of Neptune leadership understands there will be safety protocols that must be followed and is fully prepared to do so. We have to adapt to the times, but look forward to putting on the greatest free party the Coast has to offer.”
Additionally, the St. Paul Carnival Association and Jackson County Carnival Association are still planning to have their parades. So, in the meantime, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that we can let the good times roll in February.