NEW ORLEANS—Mardi Gras is a fire that rages in the heart of New Orleans. It’s a fire that is difficult to extinguish and like a phoenix, it returns every year. Emily Perkins and Katherine Jolliff Dunn from The Historic New Orleans Collection followed the 14 times the city decided to let the good times rest. To check out their article, click here.
“There have been 14 years since 1857 that Mardi Gras has been cancelled or significantly scaled back. The first year was in 1862 at the start of the occupation of New Orleans during the American Civil War. It was issued with a proclamation by the mayor in a newspaper that warned people they would be arrested if they were caught celebrating in the street,” says Emily Perkins.
Through wars, pandemics, and workers strikes, each cancellation was a unique part of New Orleans’ Carnival history. 2021’s Carnival celebration is also historic.
“I really appreciated looking back into history and seeing all of the reasons that Mardi Gras has been cancelled. I got an appreciation of the sacrifices that people made. This year, we discovered the concept of house floats and that will be recorded in history. Regardless of whatever tomorrow may bring, New Orleans will always find a way to celebrate, even in the worst of times.”