2021 Mardi Gras on the Coast: Alternative events in the works

Carnival season begins Wednesday. However, like most things in the past year, 2021 festivities will look a little different than normal.

Less than a week after Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich announced there will be no Mardi Gras parades in the City of Biloxi this year, another city here on the Gulf Coast has decided to do the same.

Mayor Billy Hewes declared Monday the City of Gulfport will not host any Mardi Gras events this year including parades due to COVID-19. Krewe of Gemini Ball Captain Shellie Moses said, “We are looking at moving forward and celebrating the carnival season at a later date in the summer when it’s warmer and everybody can get out and have a good time.”

Alternatively, the Krewe of Gemini and city agreed to keep their options open for the possibility of a Mardi Gras observance halfway to the next carnival season. “On the Mississippi Gulf Coast, we’re purple, green, and gold and so, I think it’s important for us to keep that spirit alive, whether it’s having drive-by parades with people and getting them involved in it or putting up your wreath and decorations because Carnival is alive and well, it just looks a little bit different in 2021.”

Having to cancel it’s traditional public Twelfth Night celebration, the Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum is turning to Facebook Live to help spread the carnival spirit this year. Coastal Mississippi Mardi Gras Museum Executive Director Anna Harris said, “We’ll have our king, Johnny Atherton, there and he’ll raise a glass. We hope you’ll join us and raise a glass at home and start celebrating Mardi Gras. We do still want to celebrate. It’s still Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras can’t be canceled. It goes on.”

Other ways the Mardi Gras Museum is keeping Mardi Gras alive on the Gulf Coast in 2021 is by hosting a Yardi Party contest starting Tuesday where residents and businesses are encouraged to show off their purple, green, and gold on social media and selling “To Geaux” Mardi Gras baskets filled with everything you need to celebrate including king cakes for $100.

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