The city of New Orleans announced today that its annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be allowed to roll after parade organizers agreed with Mayor LaToya Cantrell to “a few reasonable changes” in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. The surprising agreement comes on the heels of the city’s disbursement of a large gathering attempting to celebrate the parade’s traditional day.
According to organizers, the City will not allow the usual open floats or walking groups typically seen on St. Patrick’s Day but will require all parade participants to be inside decommissioned US Army armored MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles to prevent contact with spectators and any Chads along the route.
“The MRAPs will, of course, be painted a bright emerald green for the event,” said parade official Danny O’Weeskee. “They’ll be so green it will make you want to vomit. But don’t or they’ll probably quarantine you.”
Spectators, who will be required to wear masks, gloves, and a dab of Vision’s Men’s Club anti-viral tonic behind their ears, will be limited to one person every 500 feet along the parade route. Doctors say 500 feet is the maximum distance COVID-19 can spread through the air. Though, health officials warn some dad sneezes can potentially reach up to 2,000 feet if not properly controlled.
A lottery has been set up by the City to select the spectators. Those wishing to become a spectator will need to submit their name, address, and a doctor’s certificate indicating they have tested negative for the virus. A recent campaign contribution to Mayor Cantrell would be an advantage.
Those not selected to be a spectator will have to ‘spectate-in-place.’ Cameras will be set up at several locations along the parade route and live-streamed over the Internet. The streaming, sponsored by Cox, will update with live images every 14 days.
To prevent any potential spread of the virus due to the parade, the City is making parade organizers pay for special trucks to follow the parade and spray down the entire route with Tabasco, helping to prevent people from touching public surfaces.
One other change brought on by the virus is the cabbages traditionally thrown will not be allowed. Instead, riders will be shooting rolls of Charmin out of a pneumatic cannon mounted in the MRAP’s gun tub.
And in a related story, experts say a current Internet rumor – consuming large amounts of GUINNESS will make you immune to the COVID-19 virus – ARE NOT TRUE. It will just make you not care, which is kind of the same thing.