The Good Times Aren’t Rolling In The Big Easy For Fat Tuesday Weekend
Wake me up from the bad dream. Splash come cold water on my face. Actually, make it a Hurricane and keep doing it because with this news I may go insane.
There’s no bourbon on Bourbon Street for Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year.
There are no Hurricanes, Hand Grenades or colored slushy drinks. Heck, there’s not even any “Huge Ass Beers.”
As unfathomable as it seems, Mayor LaToya Cantrell has cut off all alcohol sales throughout the French Quarter and – gasp – this includes closing the bars on Bourbon Street.
This will take affect on the Friday before Fat Tuesday and last until Ash Wednesday. That makes Nawlens – the land of plenty as in plenty to drink – a dry city in the Quarter from Feb. 12-16.
Taking a “better safe than sorry” approach to COVID-19, Cantrell also canceled all the Mardi Gras parades, which traditionally run for two weekends leading up to Fat Tuesday. But to cut off alcohol?! It just seems to go contrary to everything I know about New Orleans.
The Big Easy without booze is like an ocean without water. Bourbon Street without open bars is like a float not tossing out beads. Not being able to get a drink in New Orleans – during Mardi Gras, no less – is akin to taking away a kid’s gifts at Christmas.
I completely understand the concerns about trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And enforcing a “masks required” rule on Bourbon Street would be next to impossible. But the mayor is likely creating a modern-day Battle of New Orleans from bar owners, who make a large portion of their revenue during MG.
Plus, she runs the risk of causing super-spreader events at homes because locals are certainly not going to suddenly turn into teetotalers. Mardi Gras in in their blood, their soul, and they are going to drink somewhere. Many of the parades in the area traditionally take place in Midtown anyway, so maybe closing the bars is a way to discourage people from traveling to New Orleans.
I know it’s the way things have to be these days – heck it’s hardly the only event canceled or watered down the past year – but come to think of it, let me bury my head in the pillow and get back to sleep.
It’s better that way and maybe I’ll wake up when Mardi Gras, and all other fun party events, are back and the good times are rolling again in New Orleans and elsewhere.