Mississippi Mardi Gras celebrations dwindle amid virus surge

Published 7:38 am Saturday, December 26, 2020

Several Mardi Gras parades in Mississippi have already been cancelled because of a surge in coronavirus cases, and one more is likely to be added to that list soon.

Biloxi Mayor Andrew “Fofo” Gilich told WLOX-TV this week that he’s “about 80%” sure he will cancel Mardi Gras parades in Biloxi in 2021 due to concerns about the coronavirus.

“Right now, it’s not looking too promising,” he said.

Gilich said he will make a call on the event before the new year.

“We aren’t going to do another super-spreader event,” he said, noting that health professionals have attributed some of the current increase in cases to larger gatherings around Thanksgiving.

One of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s biggest Mardi Gras parades is hosted by the St. Paul Carnival Association and is among those that have already canceled for 2021. Also canceled is the North Bay Mardi Gras parade, which usually takes place in St. Martin and D’Iberville. The Krewe of Nereids and the cities of Bay St. Louis and Waveland announced earlier this month they were canceling the Nereids’ Parade.

Biloxi’s Second Liners Marching Club also announced it would not hold its annual parade.

“You’ve got until the 16th, and that’s when the parades will roll, and I just don’t see a trend where we’re below 1,000 hospitalizations in that number of days,” Gilich told WLOX, adding that: “I don’t think it’s going to break anyone’s heart that we would rather be safe than sorry.”