A COVID-Safe Mardi Gras

February 11, 2021

Happy Mardi Gras season!

I know you’ve heard a lot recently about how this Mardi Gras will be different. This is disappointing for everyone, but especially so for those who have never experienced a New Orleans Mardi Gras. As you know, the Mayor has closed all bars and parts of the French Quarter and Marigny beginning Friday, Feb. 12 through Fat Tuesday, Feb. 16 to discourage crowds from congregating. We have gotten requests from many students and student groups for clarity around what is permissible and what is not allowed at this time, so let’s start with that:

Summary of the Current Guidelines 

As was announced Monday by Tulane leadership, the Safer-at-Home restrictions have been lifted. This means that:

  • Gathering sizes of 10 or less individuals indoors and 25 or less outdoors, socially distanced and with proper face coverings, are permitted
  • Students may engage in normal activities, such as getting a haircut, working out, going to restaurants, etc., if they follow all COVID-19 safety protocols
  • Registered events on- and off-campus, without alcohol, are permitted if they are compliant with the city’s gathering size restrictions (maximum 10 indoors and 25 outdoors)
  • Registered events with food are permitted if they follow the Registered Student Organization policies for food
  • On-campus students are permitted to visit students in other residence halls Sunday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday noon to 11 p.m.  *Students must still adhere to the individual room capacity regulations set forth by Housing & Residence Life
How can we celebrate Mardi Gras?  
  • Individuals may gather in group sizes up to 10 indoors or 25 outdoors. (COVID-19 safety protocols and noise ordinance still apply)
  • Registered Student Organizations may hold alcohol-free organization/chapter events (maximum 10 indoors, 25 outdoors)
  • Students may walk or bike around in groups to see house floats that are all over the city
  • Many New Orleans restaurants are doing Mardi Gras themed meals or events, you can go with friends to any of these places. Table sizes are capped at 10 (indoors or outdoors)
  • You may plan individual trips to do things in the city. You can also find a similar list of activities on Tulane’s website.
  • You may participate in any of the Tulane events that are happening around Mardi Gras
  • As always, you can host or attend a virtual gathering of any size
Not interested in Mardi Gras, but just don’t want to be bored this weekend?
  • Catch up on your study time! The library will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mardi Gras Day, and will have normal hours all other days
  • You can take advantage of some of the other recreational activities New Orleans has to offer like batting cages, laser tag, museums, art exhibits and hiking trails
  • Cheer on the Greenwave Men’s & Women’s Basketball Teams, the Volleyball Team and the Baseball Team!  Stay tuned for information from Athletics regarding the opportunity for limited attendance
What should you avoid or know?
  • If you find a bar that is somehow open in New Orleans, not serving food or not offering exclusively table service — you should leave
  • Avoid any establishment not enforcing mandatory masking
  • Don’t host or attend gatherings larger than the city guidelines
  • Audubon Park has announced that The Fly will be closed Friday, Feb. 12 through Wednesday, Feb. 17. It will re-open on Feb. 18
  • Travel outside the Greater New Orleans area is still restricted to only that which is essential, and it must be registered with the university
  • You should avoid any situation where people are gathered in masses, not practicing social distancing, and not masking
  • Nearby parishes may not be following the COVID-19 guidelines that Orleans Parish and Tulane are, so remember – no matter where you are – Tulane and New Orleans guidelines apply
  • If you live off campus, the city trash collection will not happen on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Collection will resume at your next scheduled pick-up day

Public safety remains a big concern this Mardi Gras. In response to recent incidents, and to further protect our community, we have increased foot, bicycle and vehicle patrols along the Broadway corridor and in the surrounding neighborhood. These patrols will continue throughout Mardi Gras. We also have 15 SafeCityCam video surveillance cameras installed around campus. Evidence from those cameras has been used to remove perpetrators from the community. Criminals look for opportunities when you have you guard down or may be impaired by alcohol. Stay sober and alert. Wearing Tulane gear is an excellent way to show your school spirit, but it may also signal that you are less familiar with the area to would be perpetrators. Don’t travel alone, make sure your phone is charged before leaving home and always have the TUPD non-emergency number saved in your phone. For more crime prevention tips visit this page.

Finally, keep in mind that dining hours will be different over the Mardi Gras Holiday.

I know this isn’t the Mardi Gras experience we all hoped for, but I know we will all make the best of it. Stay safe.


Erica Woodley
Dean of Students