Mardi Gras Galveston festivities will officially have to wait another year.
Galveston city council voted unanimously to approve canceling the 2021 Mardi Gras celebration, originally slated for February 5-16, to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread.
The council said it intends to bring back the event when it's safe.
When considering the decision, council members noted that the main Mardi Gras krewes canceled parades, which are key elements of the event. Special events permits have also been on hold since March 2020 to minimize COVID-19 spread. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's executive orders limiting outside events played a factor as well, with the council saying it would be difficult to control or enforce crowd size during Mardi Gras and its associated events.
While disappointing for revelers, the cancellation may not be a surprise.
In November, the Knights of Momus, Galveston's oldest Mardi Gras krewe, announced that it will not participate in the 2021 celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group is widely known for hosting the Grand Night Parade, Coronation and Ball for Mardi Gras in Galveston.
"This unanimous decision of the executive committee was motivated by our stewardship of Momus and Mardi Gras and was made after careful deliberations. The health and safety of the public and of our members was of primary importance," said Kenneth Shelton, Jr., chairman of the executive committee of the Knights of Momus. "We had hoped we might find some safe way to hold the events, but the current surge in cases entering the holiday season rendered this hope untenable and the risks unmanageable. Further, while the existence of the vaccine holds promise for the future, it will likely make the public feel less at risk and thus more prone to risky behavior."
The group also noted other significant Mardi Gras events have been canceled in Galveston including the San Luis Salute, hosted annually by the Fertitta family since 1996.
Both events are scheduled to return to Mardi Gras in Galveston in 2022, according to a news release.
Galveston Historical Foundation's Board of Directors voted to cancel the 2020 Dickens on the Strand event normally held in downtown Galveston due to an increase in local, regional, and state numbers related to COVID-19. The main event was scheduled for Dec. 4 and 5. The decision also means special associated events are canceled.
GHF says it plans to return to its traditional festival layout and schedule December 3-5, 2021. If you have tickets, you will be contacted about receiving a refund.
Galveston isn't the only city that won't be letting the good times roll for Mardi Gras. The city of New Orleans canceled all 2021 Mardi Gras parades.
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