Mayor LaToya Cantrell's diatribe regarding the crowds on Bourbon Street during Saint Patrick's Day is nothing more than a self-serving political excuse for the city’s failure to address the obvious problems that allowing the bars to stay open was going to cause.

After all, if you invite the country's young people to the biggest drinking day of the year other than New Year's Eve, in a place where drunkenness is not only tolerated but encouraged, that's exactly what they are going to expect and do. The crowds seen on the sidewalks are only there because the bars themselves are so packed full there is no room for them to get in.

Other states had already closed public venues except for grocery stores and pharmacies. I shudder to think of that massive number of visitors who will now return home, mostly to other states, to infect others, especially elderly relatives or others with chronic health problems.

Cantrell should be ashamed of blaming those kids for her shortsighted attempt to bring an influx of cash into the city at everyone else's expense.

HOLLY ROCKWELL-CELERIER

retired tour guide

New Orleans