4:03 PM PT -- A rep for White tells us the NFL player WILL be encouraging COVID safety during the event.

We're told event organizers will be encouraging social distancing and for people to wear masks and wash their hands.

We're told the event -- which includes a 6 mile trail ride -- will raise money for local charities.

NFL star Devin White is throwing a massive charity event for around 2,000 people in a small Louisiana town this weekend ... and the mayor there says he expects NO COVID-19 precautions to be taken.