BREAKING: Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association cancels all Lafayette parades

Image courtesy The Acadiana Advocate

The Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association has canceled all Lafayette parades due to Covid-19 concerns.

Press release below:

The Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association has organized a safe and family friendly Mardi Gras parade for 86 years. In balmy sunshine, pouring rain, sleet, snow, and bone chilling freeze (the late Judge Kaliste Saloom paraded in 16 degree temperatures!).

Greater Southwest has annually organized parades for hundreds of thousands of fun loving people, and succeeded magnificently in delivering the safe and family-friendly Mardi Gras we all love and enjoy.

As the 4th generation of volunteers who serve to carry out the mission of Greater Southwest, we take pride in carrying out our responsibilities to our member Krewes, the police and fire departments, public works and all of Lafayette and surrounding communities. We love a party and, at Mardi Gras, the bigger the better.

This year, the COVID-19 virus has presented us with a unique and nearly unprecedented challenge. Only World War II (1942 through 1947) and the Korean Conflict (1951) has canceled Mardi Gras parades in Lafayette.

We were hopeful that conditions would permit parading through Lafayette and, with the parades, one of Lafayette’s largest parties.

However, after months of deliberation, counsel with government officials, the University, medical providers, and our member Krewes and, in light of the ongoing governmental COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that will likely remain in place for at least the next 45 days, we have determined that safe, family-friendly and quality parades cannot be staged during the Mardi Gras season this year.

Unfortunately, for these reasons, Greater Southwest has canceled all Lafayette parades for the February 2021 Mardi Gras season.

However, while parades will not roll, rest assured that Greater Southwest is working with member Krewes to provide safe alternatives to our traditional Mardi Gras festivities. Stay tuned for details to follow.