Mayor Stimpson: City won’t cancel Mardi Gras parades, but health department might

Mobile County

Mayor says mystic groups will get venue refunds for COVID cancelled balls

MOBILE, Ala (WKRG) — Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson has sent a letter to Mardi Gras organizations saying the City won’t cancel 2021 parades and balls, leaving those decisions to the mystic groups, and ultimately, the Mobile County Health Department.

Stimpson held a Zoom meeting with organization representatives Friday and then sent them a letter clarifying the City’s position.

The letter indicates that the City is ready to issue parade permits and that organizations need to make a decision by December 11.

Stimpson says it’s the City’s interpretation of the state’s Safer at Home Order that parade riders will have to wear “face coverings” – whether carnival-style masks or COVID-style masks isn’t clear. Up to nine people per side, per level, could be on a float as long as they are wearing face coverings.

As for balls, mystic groups will be allowed to cancel their events at the Civic Center or Convention Center, without a penalty, up to the week prior to the event, due to COVID-19 concerns.

Rental deposits will be returned and any alcoholic beverages already purchased by the City’s venue management company will be held for groups for the 2022 Mardi Gras season.

Stimpson’s letter seems to indicate that any cancellation of parades due to COVID-19 concerns would be made by the Mobile County Health Department, and not the City.

“Ultimately, this is a public health issue which falls within the jurisdiction of the Mobile County Health Department.”

Letter from Mayor Stimpson

As of this post, the Crewe of Columbus, the Order of Polka Dots, and Le Krewe de Bienville have canceled their 2021 parades in Downtown Mobile.

The downtown parading season is set to run from Friday February 7th to Fat Tuesday February 25.

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