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Jefferson Parish calls off Carnival parades because of coronavirus pandemic

“We have no idea when they will allow Mardi Gras,” said McKinley Cantrell, who has built floats since he was 17.

KENNER, La. — At Cantrell Floats in Kenner, early January is usually a time of year when there’s hardly enough time to get everything done.

Now, they have nothing but time thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We have no idea when they will allow Mardi Gras,” said McKinley Cantrell, who has built floats since he was 17.

The Jefferson Parish Council hoped to let parades roll during Memorial Day weekend.

Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken said there are still too many COVID cases right now and too few vaccinations given out to let that happen.

Neighboring New Orleans has already called off parades in 2021.

“From here to there is not so far, and so it makes it difficult to put that date on the calendar and have everybody start spending money toward that goal only to know that we probably wouldn't be able to move forward with that timeframe,” Van Vrancken said Wednesday during the council’s first meeting of the year.

Cantrell said he’s going to have a hard time if parades don’t roll this year.

“We still have leases and expenses and property taxes and it’s not going to be good,” he said, warning of layoffs at his shop.

Another parade that hoped to get some good news from the council was the Metairie Road St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The goal was to roll on July 4th weekend.

Its captain left the meeting disappointed -- but hopeful that the council can find a date sometime this year to let the parade happen.

“I’m a positive person,” Dan Civello, the captain, said. “I really think we will roll.”

But with his parade canceled once already because of the virus, Civello said there’s only one thing you can do right now.

“Stay tuned. And stay positive. Stay positive. I think things are going to start to happen,” he said.

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