New Orleans Mayor Admits Mardi Gras 2023 May Be Cancelled
Say it ain't so… 2023 without a Mardi Gras.
This is an unwelcome reality that the city of New Orleans may have to deal with.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell held her District A budget town hall last night, Thursday, August 18, 2022. One of the biggest questions that residents had was the issue with police staffing and safety within the city of New Orleans.
“We are currently operating with 60 percent of our current staffing. I want you to think about that for a minute, 60 percent of the number of EMS providers to make the city safe and healthy,” New Orleans EMS Director Dr. Meg Marino explained.
While low numbers of police and medical personnel is a problem that a lot of police departments and cities are facing right now this could be a devastating thing for the city of New Orleans and Louisiana when it comes to tourism dollars. The police department is focused on the recruitment of new officers to the force and the retention of current police officers, but this is not an easy fix that can happen overnight.
The New Orleans Police Department is continuing to make sure that the residents and tourists who frequent New Orleans feel safe while they are out and about enjoying all the city has to offer but crime is something that they are struggling with.
However, the most shocking part of the night was when Mayor Cantrell brought up the topic of Mardi Gras 2023.
“If we don’t have adequate police, it could mean that there will be no Mardi Gras — and that’s a fact. If our officers cannot be safe, then there’s no way that our city will be safe,” said Cantrell.
It is believed that Mardi Gras can bring in upwards of $1 billion dollars for the City of New Orleans. Since the city struggled with tourism during the covid-19 pandemic canceling Mardi Gras would not be the most ideal situation when it comes to the bottom line. However, if the city can not ensure the safety of its residents and tourists during the Mardi Gras season then it may not be in their best interest to go through with the yearly celebration.
Hopefully, the city can make the best decision for all parties involved.