LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) The Greater Southwest Louisiana Association has canceled its parades for this upcoming Mardi Gras season.
Organizers said COVID-19 presented unique and unprecedented challenges that required bringing everyone to the table for a discussion.
“We’ve been in touch kind of with everybody throughout the year; and this year as we got to the finish line it’s been difficult,” association president David Cortez said.
He says the discussions about the 2021 parades started directly after the 2020 Mardi Gras season.
For example he explains that the current status of the university was a factor to they had to consider.
“We use the university’s grounds for Queen Evangeline’s viewing stand and for Le Festival de Mardi over at Cajun Field. That’s a huge fundraiser that we have every year and without it we couldn’t put on Mardi Gras.”
“There are a lot of logistics involved and not to mention public safety. Taking all that in consideration, the stars were not aligned this year.”
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jamie Hebert confirms having a discussion about Mardi Gras and especially about Blackham Coliseum being used.
Hebert says the coliseum has been set-up as a large testing center for UL Lafayette students.
“That was one of the primary venues that a lot of the Mardi Gras krewes were seeking. Unfortunately, we really need that to keep the academic mission moving forward for the university and our students.”