The Greater Southwest Mardi Gras Association and the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Association have both canceled all their parades for this season.
Between them, this cancels all of Lafayette's parades, including the Rio, Bonapart, Children's, Queen's, King's and Independent parades. The association's balls also have been canceled, as has the festival that takes place at Cajun Field, at the end of the parade route.
"Due to the health and safety of ourselves as Mardi Gras Krewe members, our participants and their families and the citizens of Acadiana, it is in our best interest and everyone around to cancel Mardi Gras this season," said Albert Babineaux, President of the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Association. "We look forward to working with our participants and parents, fellow krewes and parish government to make 2022 an even better carinval season."
The Greater Southwest Mardi Gras Association released a statement earlier today.
"This year, the COVID-19 virus has presented us with a unique and nearly unprecedented challenge," a release from the association states. "Only World War II (1942 through 1947) and the Korean Conflict (1951) has canceled Mardi Gras parades in Lafayette.
"We were hopeful that conditions would permit parading through Lafayette and, with the parades, one of Lafayette's largest parties. However, after months of deliberation, counsel with government officials, the University, medical providers, and our Krewe members and, in light of the ongoing governmental COVID-19 pandemic restrictions that will likely remain in place for least the next 45 days, we have determined that safe, family-friendly and quality parades cannot be staged during the Mardi Gras season this year.
"Unfortunately, for these reasons, Greater Southwest has canceled all Lafayette parades for the February 2021 Mardi Gras season.
"However, while parades will not roll, rest assured that Greater Southwest is working with member Krewes to provide safe alternatives to our traditional Mardi Gras festivities. Stay tuned for details to follow."