One of the most popular Mardi Gras parades in Acadiana will not roll in 2021 due to COVID-19.

Leadership within the city of Youngsville made the tough decision to cancel their annual Mardi Gras parade for 2021 at last night's council meeting. After much discussion between Youngsville Chief of Police Rickey Boudreaux, city council, and staff on how the annual Mardi Gras event could look while still following COVID-19 guidelines, it was decided that it simply wouldn't be prudent to hold the event in 2021.

Even with the widespread availability of a vaccine on the horizon, every possible scenario of restrictions that was discussed at the city council meeting would have been too irresponsible for the city to move forward amidst a global pandemic—not to mention would cause the parade to suffer to a point where it wouldn't be enjoyable for riders or thousands of paradegoers that attend the Mardi Gras celebration.

While the cancellation of the Youngsville Mardi Gras parade is the latest among tough decisions and circumstances related to the coronavirus, Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter knows that it's ultimately the right decision when it comes to keeping his community safe as local leadership continues to do their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

It would be irresponsible to hold a Mardi Gras parade in Youngsville amid a global pandemic and not prudent as leaders to invite thousands of people to have a celebration where we can not social distance. I am optimistic that the end of this public health emergency is in sight with a vaccine becoming available and we look forward to holding a community celebration once it is safe to do so perhaps on Memorial Day or Independence Day. We need to work together to get our schools, businesses, and economy fully reopened, and temporarily avoiding large crowds such as the Youngsville Mardi Gras parade is a step in the right direction.

Judging by the exponential growth of the annual event coupled with the natural cabin fever that comes as a result of our recent COVID-19 restrictions, Youngsville's Mardi Gras parade would have easily seen record numbers in 2021.

Unfortunately, that doesn't bode well in the midst of a global pandemic marred with restrictions, mandates, and distancing guidelines.

Like everyone else, Ritter says the city of Youngsville cannot wait until things can get back to normal and is looking ahead to a bigger and better celebration when it's safe to do so. The Youngsville Mardi Gras parade has quickly grown to be one of the biggest Mardi Gras parades in the area over the last few years, drawing tens of thousands of people from all over Acadiana and beyond.

Youngsville’s Mardi Gras parade was scheduled for Saturday, Feb 13, 2021.

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