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Proposals to hold Jefferson Parish parades in May with new safety, flexibility measures for krewes

"They really anticipate by May there will be a good amount of the vaccine out there."

JEFFERSON PARISH, La. — Jefferson Parish hopes to still be able to celebrate Mardi Gras with parades even if it's a little later than usual. The parish council will meet December 9 to discuss new measures to its Carnival Ordinance.

There are discussions about possibly parading in May 2021.

"Looking at the numbers, it's unlikely the numbers will be good in February so we're kind of moving away from the thought of parades in February. We envision parades later in the year," said Jefferson Parish Council member Jennifer Van Vrancken. 

"They really anticipate by May there will be a  good amount of the vaccine out there."

But there are discussions about parading in May 2021 instead.

"I think that makes a lot of sense," said Lawrence Chehardy, Co-Captain of the Krewe of Argus. " Argus' big concern is safety."

Van Vrancken said proposed changes to the carnival ordinance would add safety measures like requiring masks and gloves for riders, while giving krewes more flexibility.

"Normally we require how many riders, how many floats, how many bands, this year were going to be flexible on those requirements," she said.

Currently, there is still discussion about holding Family Gras during Carnival season.

"It is the one thing I think we can still do in the carnival time frame," Van Vrancken said.

Producer of Family Gras, Greg Buisson, said if there is a Family Gras in 2021, it would be designed to celebrate local musicians.

"We're going to find the artists from Louisiana who have defined Louisiana's music culture and ultimately create an event with those artists," he said.

He acknowledges how the event would be different with new safety guidelines.

"There have been enough events done around the country, music events that have limited a certain number of people, who have been able to set the ground work for what you can and cant do," Buisson said.

"We think we can do sort of in the same vein of drive in events, you'd have pods of people distanced from each other," Van Vrancken said. 

The Jefferson Parish Council meets December 9 to discuss the quickly approaching carnival season. 

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