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Cornelius News

COVID casts shadow over Punxsutawney Phil, Mardi Gras parade

Bill Murray in ‘Groundhog Day’

Nov. 23. If you’re planning major events early next year, Punxsutawney Phil already says it looks like a long winter. The annual Groundhog Day event Feb. 2 in Gobbler’s Knob will be virtual because “potential COVID risks to overcome are too great.”

The Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club said it’s “very unlikely,” but if it determined that it could safely hold any in-person activities, it would make changes. The event draw visitors from all over the world.

Two weeks later, the Mardi Gras parades that mark the beginning of Lent have been cancelled by the City of New Orleans.

The city won’t be cancelling Mardi Gras because it is a religious holiday, “however we will not be able to celebrate the Holiday this year as we have in the past.”

Parades of any kind will not be permitted this year because large gatherings “have proven to be super spreader events of the COVID-19 virus.”

The Bourbon Street and Frenchman Street entertainment Districts are open, but subject to local and state COVID Guidelines: It is highly recommended that time in the city’s entertainment districts be limited and social distancing observed with mask wearing.

The City of New Orleans is always open for business, according to its website. “However, all visitors must adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines which include wearing a mask in public and maintaining strict 6ft or more social distancing,” it says.