MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell saying she’d rather be safe than sorry during this different Mardi Gras season. The City is concerned about creating another giant, virus “super-spreader” event, like what happened last year — even access to parts of the famed French Quarter will be restricted.
“I’d rather be accused of doing too much than doing too little,” said Mayor Cantrell.
In this tale of two cities — deep with Mardi Gras tradition — it’s a a stark contrast to what the Port City is proposing this COVID year.
Friday night in the birth place of Mardi Gras — the streets in Mobile — once again quiet where parades should be rolling.
Downtown’s Flip Side Bar & Patio is on the parade route.
“Normally, you know… We are staffed a lot heavier than we are right now… Because we are expecting the big nights,” explained Rickey Slayton, Bartender Flip Side and B-Bob’s.
Slayton mans the bar at Flip Side and B-Bob’s and says Mardi Gras usually brings with it the reward of big paychecks.
“It’s a time to make some money and pay some bills… Save some money up. Typically after Mardi Gras people go into hibernation mode where they don’t come out as much. So it’s a time to normally make really good money up and live off of it for the next several months,” said Slayton.
While Slayton feels for his bar industry friends in New Orleans: “They’ve been at a loss now… And this is going to really hurt them and I know that.”
He’s encouraged by the City of Mobile’s plan to close the streets of downtown on Fat Tuesday to allow social distancing — giving people the chance to support local as businesses try to recover from one of the hardest years ever.
“Normally people are Mardi Grased out at this point because they’ve been partying for three weeks now… but that’s not the case this year. And I feel on Fat Tuesday and Joe Cain Day they’re going to come out because those are the days they are used to celebrating and with roads being blocked off they are going to come celebrate and party — hopefully pretty hard, but doing it in a safe way as well,” said Slayton.
The mask mandate and social distancing will be enforced.
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