Nyx Biloxi Ball a ‘modest gathering’ in ‘full compliance’: lawyer

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Nyx Biloxi Ball a 'modest gathering' in 'full compliance': lawyer

Nyx ‘Biloxi Ball, with a total of 42 participants, was “in complete agreement,” whether it was in Biloxi or New Orleans, Krewe said

NEW ORLEANS – In response to criticism from city officials for holding a masquerade ball in Biloxi on Saturday, the Nyx Krewe said it had done nothing wrong.

Nyx’s Biloxi Ball, with a total of 42 participants, was “fully compliant,” regardless of whether it was held in Biloxi or New Orleans, according to an official statement by the Nyx Krewe on Tuesday.

“If this meeting had been held in Louisiana and / or Orleans Parish, it would have fully and fully complied with all social distancing and / or CDC guidelines,” the Krewe said. “There are no federal, state, or local ordinances in the state of Mississippi or the state of Louisiana that prohibit citizens from indulging in a method that fully complies with social distancing guidelines.”

New Orleans officials called Nyx ‘Biloxi Ball a “potential super-spreader event” and “a disservice to public health” during the city’s weekly press conference Tuesday. Officials said the effects of the event would not be known until two weeks later.

“The virus doesn’t know where the community is,” Tidwell said. “You are not magically out of danger if you cross the parish line. It was New Orleans people and a New Orleans organization: The Nyx Organization.”

The city’s communications director said Mardi Gras Krewes are supposed to be – and often show they are – not-for-profit organizations and city officials find it worrying when they do “a disservice to public health.”

Officials have not decided to deny Nyx the opportunity to attend Carnival, but Nyx’s Biloxi Ball will be an example of what officials will see in the future when issuing permits.

“It is certainly something that we will look at when the time comes to review permits for next year,” said Tidwell. “This is something that will be part of our consideration in any conversation about who will be performing next year.”

Nyx attorney Doug Sunseri called control of the city “inconsistent” and said it was not fair. People who did the same for soccer games outside of town were not asked to do the same.

“(Other organizations) have held meetings and similar gatherings like the Nyx Krewe in other states without the inconsistent scrutiny and admonition of the Orleans Township government,” Sunseri said.

“Most of the members who attended the convention live outside of the state of Louisiana,” the statement said. “Only two known attendees were residents of the Orleans Ward … Louisiana residents have hosted weddings or events of similar size in the Orleans Ward and throughout the state of Louisiana …”

Tidwell described ignoring COVID guidelines as disregarding 671 people killed by the virus, but Sunseri said Nyx Krewe did not ignore any guidelines.

Sunseri said the whole thing could have been avoided if a city official had reached out to Krewe to find out the facts, but as for enforcement, New Orleans officials said it was out of their hands.

“You left the state; that’s pretty far out of our jurisdiction,” said Tidwell. “That is, everyone is clear about what they did. Everyone is clear that it was dangerous.”

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