Carnival Association of Long Beach cancels ball
By Andy Kanengiser
Many folks in the Friendly City love the Carnival Association of Long Beach (CALB).
And what’s not to like? Founded in 1960, the CALB is a non-profit bringing together people of all faiths and professions to support loads of deserving charities along the Gulf Coast.
But given the COVID-19 pandemic that’s resulted in more than 209,000 deaths across the U.S. in early October, CALB leaders decided to cancel their 2021 Royal Coronation Ball.
With the Gulf Coast economy taking huge hits in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak, raising money to pay for the event would have been nearly impossible. Fund-raising activities for the event are now suspended.
Plus, the event usually attracts five hundred people, and that would have been a violation of health protocols to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus, said CALB President Jason D. Green. Under guidelines, only about one hundred people would have been allowed to attend the ball.
For six decades, the St. Thomas Mother’s Club/Carnival Association has worked hard to bring revelry and the spirit of Mardi Gras to Long Beach, so it was with a heavy heart that Green announced the suspension of the Coronation Ball.
He estimated that it would have cost some $15,000 to raise funds to hire a band and pay for other items associated with the big gala.
In a Facebook post, CALB President Jason Green, or King Scott XLV111, said the organization will bounce back better than ever.
“We are a resilient group of people, and, with everyone’s support and prayers, we will return STRONGER and do what we are known for – the best Mardi Gras on the Coast.”
Jason Green says health concerns about the coronavirus are real. He noted “nobody is immune” to COVID-19. The Coronation Ball was suspended, he said, due to concerns about the safety of members and guests.
While leaders pulled the plug on the Royal Coronation Ball in February 2021, Green pointed out the festive CALB parade remains on schedule for February 6, 2021. The parade winding along Jeff Davis Avenue begins at 6 p.m is always an annual favorite with crowds on the Gulf Coast.
In addition, there are expected to be other events on tap for early 2021.
Asked if he attends Mardi Gras activities in New Orleans, Green said he’s always too busy making the activities in Long Beach the best on the Mississippi Gulf Coast each year.
While it was a tough decision to make, Green didn’t do it alone. The entire CALB board unanimously endorsed the move this fall.