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Krewes prepare for upcoming Carnival, encourage members get vaccinated

Leaders say they're hopeful Carnival 2022 will happen, and if it does, they promise a show

NEW ORLEANS — No official decision has been made yet regarding Carnival 2022. 

Mayor LaToya Cantrell though, is encouraging all Krewe members get vaccinated beforehand for safety.

Krewes are busy getting ready for what could be one exciting Carnival. Muses Captain Staci Rosenberg says after it rained on their parade two years ago, they're preparing for one momentous occasion.

"We were not happy 2020 and then last year we had nothing," Rosenberg said. "We have so much pent-up demand, you have no idea. People are wildly excited."

No secrets are being given for their parade though, and other Krewes are remaining tight-lipped as well. Krewe of Freret Captain Bobby Hjortsberg says any parade in 2022 would be one for the books.

"Really, it's just the heart of our city," he said. "New Orleans needs it now more than we have in a long, long time. Because of that, we haven't done it for so long, I think it's going to be a special Mardi Gras."

 Still, with so much excitement, the one thing on their mind, is COVID-19.

"Fun is right up there," Rosenberg said. "But safety is paramount. So we're always going to do of course what is recommended, what is required, and we want people to feel comfortable and come out and have a great time."

Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently wrote a letter to the Mardi Gras Advisory Council asking Krewes "Please reach out to your Krewe members and ask that they strongly consider getting vaccinations," she wrote. "...showing our citizens that participating Krewe members a rolling up their sleeves and getting vaccinated can be a vital first step towards trying to make Mardi Gras 2022 a reality."

"We've got to be responsible for our people and for the show we're putting on and that's certainly going to come into play," Hjortsberg said. "We've certainly encouraged all riders to be safe, take care of their health, get vaccinated, listen to the scientists. It seems pretty simple."

For both Krewes, leaders say their members are rolling with it.

"If we have to undertake some mitigation to do something, to make things safer, we're going to do it," Rosenberg said.

And they're hopeful the letter is a sign next year's Carnival could happen, And if it does, they say a show will be put on we'll never forget.

Eyewitness News reached out to the city to see if they had anything else to say about Carnival and encouraging vaccines. They re-iterated something they've said before: What happens next, depends on what we do now.