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Bay County Mardi Gras celebrations canceled and postponed

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:42 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

It comes with a heavy heart for organizers to announce two major Mardi Gras celebrations are either canceled or postponed.

“This one was a tough call,” The Krewe of St. Andrews President James Ray said.

“It was a hard decision because it affected a lot of our businesses,” Panama City City Commissioner Mike Nichols said.

Officials and organizers agreed to postpone the St. Andrews Mardi Gras Celebration to May 21-23.

“But it was an easy call to make because it was the right thing to do because the community is our top priority,” Ray said.

In Panama City Beach, the Mardi Gras event altogether canceled.

Both PCB and PC officials said they don’t want to cram thousands of people into a small area.

“We just felt that by putting somewhere between 25-50,000 people in a very small area would probably overwhelm our health care workers,” Nichols said.

Rising COVID-19 numbers concern organizers.

“What we don’t want to do is have someone come from Dothan or Georgia and get infected here and then go home and spread it around,” Ray said.

Officials hope those numbers will go back down come May.

“We hope by that period of time, a lot of people have gotten their shots,” Nichols said.

Postponing the festival not only postpones money going back into The Krewe of St. Andrews, but it also pushes back the “start” of the year for businesses.

In the end, they said it was the right thing to do.

“When we bring money in we try to turn it in around and try to make the community better with that money. And this event being postponed is going to be a little hole in that,” Ray said.

They hope the event in May will be bigger and better.

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