NEW ORLEANS – Even with tougher COVID-19 restrictions, visitors made their way to New Orleans in hopes of letting the good times roll.
This Mardi Gras, police did their best to prevent large gatherings in popular spots like the French Quarter.
A clean and quiet Bourbon Street is not common on Mardi Gras.
Police are following the Mayor’s orders to keep the holiday from becoming a super spreader event.
“I wanted to see the parades and I wanted to get the good Mardi Gras experience to see what it’s all about,” said Megan Ford from South Carolina. “I hear so much about Mardi Gras, but I’ve never really experienced it.”
Ford did not know about the added Mardi Gras restrictions until last minute and said it was too late to cancel her trip.
“I am still trying to be festive, but it is very, very cold. I actually had to buy some gloves,” Ford said.
Typically Bourbon Street would be packed with people for Mardi Gras in colorful costumes as unique as the city. This year though, bars are shuttered and those visitors hoping to get a taste of what the city has to offer are going to gave to plan another trip.
“So, I’m going to try and aim again for hopefully next year, but if not next year than 2023,” Ford said.
There was a similar echo from Fatima Ramos from California. This would have been her first Mardi Gras.
“I thought it was going to be crowded and you could walk around with drinks,” Ramos said. “No, there’s nothing.” .
Ramos and her friend are still getting a taste of the city and say overall, the restrictions are looser than back home in California.
“I wanted to be able to do it on Bourbon Street like you see on TV on Mardi Gras,” Ramos said.
Before she leaves, Ramos is looking forward to drinking a daiquiri on Bourbon Street.
Also, another symbolic tradition will not happen this season.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson will not ride down Bourbon Street marking the end of Carnival.