A Pecadito of a Quarantine Mardi Gras
Updated: Jun 19
Being a tourist in my own city is so fun. From the amazing restaurants, iconic bars, and unique architecture, there is always something to see in my adopted hometown of New Orleans.
But touring my city took on a brand new life this past Mardi Gras season.
Mardi Gras is really just a day. It means “Fat Tuesday”. But New Orleans has amplified the term to a full season that always starts on January 6 and ends the day before Ash Wednesday. It’s never going to be “canceled” but due to the pandemic, it was definitely muted this year.
Typically, the streets are filled with people and floats and the vibrancy of the city is at full throttle.
But here we are in 2021, just a year away from what many health experts say is the biggest superspreader event of Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic.
So instead of floats carrying masked riders down St. Charles Avenue, people across the city decorated their homes as if they were floats. Over 3000 Krewe of House Floats were decorated throughout the city and beyond to celebrate the Carnival season.
Since there were no parades to attend and no festivities at the various bars and restaurants around the French Quarter to take part in, I did the next best thing: explored my city and the super creative house floats celebrating the season.
The house float decorations ranged from amateur to professional. And every single one of them was fun to see.
From the Dinosaur house to the Muses house, the ability for people in the city I adore living in to make their homes so beautiful and fun was a sight to see.
Along the famous St. Charles Avenue, houses were lit up in ways that would make every Christmas-decorated home jealous.
But what the house floats did for me more than anything gave me an opportunity to explore even more parts of this great city and enjoy the creative nature that my fellow New Orleanians take pride in.
I cannot wait to get back to a Mardi Gras where I can walk around more than I do the rest of the year carrying my drinks in backpack coolers while leaving at least one hand free to catch whatever bead or trinket someone throws my way. And the house floats? Rumor has it they are here to stay; a new tradition of the Mardi Gras season. Just as it should be.
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