Mardi Gras in Eunice 2020. (Photo by Harlan Kirgan)
Eunice downtown Mardi Gras canceled
The downtown Eunice Mardi Gras celebration is officially canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision was announced at Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.
Mardi Gras is on Feb. 16.
Mayor Scott Fontenot said, “I think it would be a public health issue to invite the world to Eunice...”
Gov. John Bel Edwards’ restrictions include a limit of 150 people at an event, he said.
The downtown Eunice celebration had grown into a five-day event featuring live music culminating on Mardi Gras when hundreds of people line the 2nd Street and Park Avenue to greet the runners and riders in the Le Vieux Mardi Gras De Cajuns de Eunice.
The Mardi Gras run will be held, but the Eunice Mardi Gras Association announced on its Facebook page there will be 150 spots and applications will be accepted through Friday. The approved applicants are to be notified on Saturday.
Captain Pat Frey in the past has stressed he wants participants in the run to wear masks and costumes.
“If your application photo does not have you in a mask, capuchon, fringed top and pants, you will be denied,” the notice stated.
Fontenot said the city may put on a bigger show for the 2022 Mardi Gras.
This is the first time the downtown Mardi Gras celebration has not been held since it started in 1988, said Ginny Moody, city clerk.
Eunice joins many other cities canceling organized Mardi Gras festivities.
On Monday, the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association announced all of its parades in Lafayette are canceled due to the pandemic.
On Friday, the Church Point Courir de Mardi Gras was canceled by the Saddle Tramp Riders Club.
Crowley Mayor Tim Monceaux announced the city-sponsored Mardi Gras had been canceled due to the pandemic.
According to The Advocate, other Acadiana Mardi Gras events that have been canceled include: Youngsville Parade; Carencro Parade; Scott Parade; Krewe des Chien Parade; Sunset Mardi Gras Parade; St. Martinville’s Newcomers Club Parade; Franklin Mardi Gras Parade; Krewe of Hephaestus Parade; Carnival D’Acadie; Rayne Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration; Loreauville Parade and Festivities; and New Iberia Parade.
Parades in New Orleans have been canceled.