As pandemic fades, Mobile planning 2022 Mardi Gras
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — With cases of COVID-19 on the decline yet still less than half the state’s residents fully vaccinated, plans are underway for next year’s Mardi Gras celebration in Mobile with parades, float and balls.
Venues like the city’s convention centers already are fully booked, and the first major parade is set to roll on Feb. 10, WPMI-TV reported. The pandemic forced the cancellation of most events this year, so groups that stage the parades and other events are ready to go.
“Mystic organizations are putting on finishing touches on their costumes, on their float designs for those parades that are going to hit the street. For those non-parading groups they’re also busy just as well. So we have over 80 mystic organizations here in Mobile and they are all planning I can assure you,” said Judi Gulledge, executive director of the Mobile Carnival Museum.
Public health officials say cases of COVID-19 could rise during the winter as people spend more time inside, and they’re keeping a watch out for virus variants that could result in another increase in hospitalizations. But health officials are hopeful that COVID-19 vaccinations will help prevent another crisis that fills hospitals.
More than 15,670 people have died of COVID-19 in Alabama, giving the state the nation’s second-highest rate of per capita deaths. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent show about 42% of the state is fully vaccinated, one of the worst rates nationally.
While New Orleans holds the nation’s largest Mardi Gras celebration, Mobile claims to have the oldest Mardi Gras and events are held all over the Gulf Coast.