Muted Mardi Gras: Closed bars, barricaded Bourbon Street

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Mardi Gras — or Fat Tuesday — has arrived in New Orleans. But officials in the tourism-dependent city aren’t hoping for big crowds during the coronavirus pandemic. All parades are canceled and bars throughout the city have been closed since Friday. Even take-out drinks are forbidden. And officials put restrictions on crowds in the historic French Quarter, which is usually the scene of huge gatherings.  Another possible factor in crowd control: Frigid, temperatures were in the weather forecast. Other Gulf Coast communities also have taken virus-related safety measures. Mobile, Alabama, for instance, has canceled parades.