Last February my publisher’s note was all about annual meetings and the number of working days in February — an acknowledgment of the distraction of Carnival on business. Every year until this one, companies had to balance the celebration of Carnival with business productivity. This year, we will still all celebrate on February 16, but the days leading up to Fat Tuesday will not have the conflict of weeknight parades and short workdays.
This Valentine’s Day you will not have to schedule your dinner reservations around a Bacchus parade or worry about a Super Bowl party interfering with first weekend celebrations. This year you have an open calendar to be productive, but it is also kind of sad.
Carnival is part of the soul of New Orleans. It is something you cannot explain, you have to experience it, and for so many that experience will have to be put on pause this year. Sure, I will take advantage of the time and use it wisely to plan ahead, but I will surely miss my Friday luncheon, securing a location on the avenue and dancing the mambo in the street. Part of my soul will have to adjust and create a desire for next year’s revelry.
Until we can all party in the streets, stay safe and keep moving forward. The soul of New Orleans needs us just as much as we need her.