Bay County Mardi Gras celebrations put on hold

Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – You won’t see hundreds of beads and parade floats invade downtown St. Andrews or Pier Park during Mardi Gras.

During Tuesday’s Panama City commission meeting, city leaders and the Krewe of St. Andrews, which hosts the popular festival, announced a new, later date for St. Andrew’s Mardi Gras celebration.

It was set for February 5-7, but will now be held May 21-23.

Event organizers and city leaders postponed the 24th annual celebration due to continuing COVID-19 concerns.

“This one was a tough call in terms of we want to put on the event for the city,” said James Rea, the Krewe of St. Andrews President-Elect. “It’s a premiere event, but it was an easy call to make because it was the right thing to do because the community is our top priority.”

At the Bay County Tourist Development Council’s meeting on Tuesday, TDC Executive Director Dan Rowe said the annual Mardi Gras Parade in Panama City Beach has been canceled, also citing similar pandemic and social distancing concerns.

“Now is not the time for us to have 30,000 people packing the streets of Pier Park with the pandemic still raging,” Rowe said.

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