Acadiana festivals in limbo during fourth COVID-19 surge

Posted at 10:16 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 12:46:08-04

With new COVID-19 cases surging in Louisiana, festivals could be canceled for another year.

Among the latest cancellations are The Red Dress Run, Jazz Fest. This fall's Voodoo Fest is also canceled.

Meanwhile, The French Quarter Festival is less than two months away and there's no word yet on if there will be changes.

With several upcoming festivals here in Acadiana, many are in limbo. We found out what festival organizers are doing and the economic impact it could have.

Parc International could be empty for a second year as COVID cases continue to rise. Although many festivals could return to a virtual experience, the economic impact could be hard to rebound.

"Human interaction is the number one thing that COVID is stealing from us,” said LEDA President and CEO Gregg Gothreaux.

With most Acadiana festivals going virtual last year, profit decreased by over 10% compared to in-person.

Gothreaux says selling merchandise and festival foods helped, but not enough to make up for the loss.

"Having all those festivals go virtual is really not a great substitute for the interaction that takes place. It's very important that we keep the spirit going because people don't realize we're a pretty unique place, with all these festivals. We got to keep it going,” said Gothreaux.

With several canceled festivals in New Orleans, organizers in Acadiana could be making changes.

Festival Acadien et Créoles, Boudin Festival, and Glow in the Cro are meeting this week to discuss making changes or canceling. The Shrimp and Petroleum Festival in Morgan City plans to go forward, pending any changes from the governor.

"I think that if people would take the same precautions, we ought to be able to handle this because it doesn't look like it's going to go away anytime soon. I'm hoping and praying that festivals don't get canceled,” Gothreaux added.

We also reached out to organizers for the Rice Festival in Crowley, Sugar Cane Festival in New Iberia, and Downtown Alive. We're still waiting for responses about their plans.

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