NEW ORLEANS– The City announced that there will be no parades for Mardi Gras 2021 because of the pandemic and Covid-19 restrictions, so that means it will be a very different Carnival season.
So if Mardi Gras as we know it is a no-go, what about New Year’s Eve celebrations in The Big Easy? Conversations are on-going, but any plan that moves forward will have to do so under current guidelines.
When the Fleur de Lis dropped in New Orleans—ringing in 2020, no one had any idea how bizarre this year would actually be.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve is a tradition in the French Quarter where there’s an annual Fireworks extravaganza along the Mississippi River and the Fleur de Lis drop from on top of Jax Brewery.
In 2016, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve started broadcasting LIVE from NOLA. In 2017, they started dropping a brand new 100 pound, 6-foot, LED fleur de lis. All of that was before the pandemic, so looking ahead to December 31st, ABC’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve is still uncertain in NOLA, and so is ringing in the new year with large parties.
Lee Tucker is an artist in Jackson Square. He’s been selling his art in Jackson Square since 1972, so he’s seen many New Year’s Eve celebrations. He says people congregate where the fireworks are, so the city should spread out the shows.
“That is a way of spreading out the people without cancelling the whole thing,” he said.
Currently New Orleans is in Phase 3.3 restrictions, which allows outdoor gatherings of 150 people, and in the past crowds have easily surpassed that number. But with an uptick in covid cases across the state that leaves the City and New Year’s in limbo until restrictions are lifted.
Whatever resolution is made regarding celebrating, Tucker still says it’s time to say goodbye to 2020.
“I think a lot of people are hoping for a better year next year, because this year’s been chaotic,” he said.
The decision as to if Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve will return to New Orleans is expected to be made next week.