Mobilians weigh in on Mardi Gras 2021 amid COVID-19 pandemic

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The city of Mobile is moving ahead with plans to hold Mardi Gras celebrations in 2021 and residents are reacting to that decision.

This comes after Mayor Sandy Stimpson sent a letter to organizations last week saying the city won’t cancel parades, balls, leaving those decisions up to mystic groups.

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, are allowed to 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.

People who live in Mobile had different opinions about the mayor’s letter. Some told WKRG they think it’s a bad idea to move forward with Mardi Gras while others say it’s what is best for the economy.

 “I have kids so I don’t see how we will be able to practice social distancing with the parades being so big the way they normally are,” says Sherika Uphill, a Mobile resident.

Those who’s businesses benefit from Mardi Gras told us they do have safety concerns but say moving forward with Mardi Gras is what is best for the city.

“Its two fold actually. Being in the hotel industry we rely heavily on Mardi Gras business and you know for the safety of everybody in the city of Mobile and everyone in the Mardi Gras organizations. I’m for canceling it but I’m not for canceling it,” said John Overmeyer, who works in Mobile.

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.

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