NEW ORLEANS — In another blow to New Orleans events this year, event organizers announced the cancelation of the 2021 Beignet Fest, which was planned for September.
Beignet Fest, scheduled to begin on Sept. 25, joins Jazz Fest, the French Quarter Fest and a handful of other high-profile festivals that have pulled out of the city in recent weeks amid a rising COVID surge in Louisiana.
The Tres Doux Foundation, which puts on the Beignet Festival every year, said in a statement they decided to cancel because of safety concerns for children with developmental delays and disabilities. The foundation's mission is to support and serve those children.
Mentally delayed or disabled kids are among those at higher risk for severe complications from the coronavirus.
“The mission of the Tres Doux Foundation is to celebrate, embrace and enhance the lives of children with developmental delays and disabilities by presenting them as whole beings, and to support organizations that do the same," organizers said in a statement. "As such, we are dedicated to the health and safety of children of all abilities, and we feel it is best to cancel the 2021 Beignet Fest. We look forward to returning in 2022.
The Tres Doux Foundation said refunds would be given for ticketholders who want their money back, but encouraged those who had already bought tickets to donate the money to their foundation's grant program, which provides support for programs serving children with special needs.
In New Orleans, the pandemic's fourth wave has brought back restrictions, this time in the form of vaccine mandates for entering restaurants and bars.
Hospitals across the state report increasingly dire situations in emergency rooms and ICU units that are overwhelmed by COVID patients — a vast majority unvaccinated — and unable to provide adequate care to people with other ailments.