LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Getting ready for Mardi Gras is a year-long process for krewes, but COVID has stopped them from being able to host the festivities.
Not only does this cancellation affect krewes, it also affects those businesses and organizations that make money through the Mardi Gras season.
One Lake Area business that won’t see the Mardi Gras revenue is Dval Designs, which makes Mardi Gras costumes.
Owner Valerie Smith says that through the pandemic, hurricanes, and now a canceled Mardi Gras, her business has suffered greatly.
“When people are not able to do Mardi Gras, all of that business goes away,” Smith said. “That’s my only business. I’m not a person that does wedding gowns or dance costumes and theater and things like that.”
And she’s not sure when Dval Designs will be able to start up again.
“We won’t start doing business again until krewes call us, and they can’t call us if they can’t have a meeting, have a party, have a ball.”
Another Lake Area organization impacted by the cancellation of Mardi Gras is the Autism Services of Southwest Louisiana.
They normally collect leftover beads, which are then sold by the Autism Society.
Interim Executive Director Andrew Jordan says they’re also having to rethink Mardi Gras activities for their clients.
“If we can’t have a parade for the city, we’ll just have a mini parade to where we can have board members in trucks throw beads to make it fun,” Jordan said.
He says they will miss getting to connect with the community.
“It’s just another opportunity that we’re missing out on for our clients to truly engage with the community and to give back. It’s such a supportive community.”