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Mayor says visitors welcome for Mardi Gras, but they need to respect the rules

Typically, Carnival in New Orleans attracts people from around the world, but that won't necessarily be the case this year.

NEW ORLEANS — There's nothing like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but the pandemic is forcing celebrations to be different this year. It's the main reason the Krewe of House Floats formed.

"The reason that we have sub-krewes all over the state, all over the country, all over the world really, is so people can do Mardi Gras at home, no matter where home is," creator Megan Boudreaux said.

But there's worry a day known for its rebellious revelry will still bring in large crowds despite restrictions. A social media post from a luxury travel account even tagging the Krewe Of House Floats, saying they were a reason to visit New Orleans on Mardi Gras. Boudreaux says given the growing number of cases, that alone is no reason to come to the city.

"I think it's more important than ever we remind people the COVID pandemic is everywhere," Boudreaux said. "It doesn't respect parish lines, state lines, we've seen the numbers all over the country they're high, transmission is high. If you're local, obviously you can drive around. If you live far away there are photos all over social media."

It does beg the question about visitors coming to New Orleans for this festive day. Eyewitness News asked Mayor Cantrell her thoughts at an earlier press conference.

"The city of New Orleans will always be welcoming," she said. "What we ask is you do the right thing: Put that mask on, avoid large gatherings, stay in your pod and be respectful of yourselves and the people who live here."

It's all about celebrating safely. Which for Boudreaux is a top priority.

"There are all sorts of ways people are getting creative where we can still get some of our traditions or at least a little flavor of it, you know?" she said.

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