With the cancellation of Carnival’s parades, we’re celebrating Mardi Gras in place – converting thousands of homes and businesses into parade floats. “Yardi Gras” has covered homes in giant paper mache flowers, cutouts of crowds waving for throws, and huge beads. Krewe of House Floats, a grassroots organization promoting the safe, socially-distanced parade experience, encouraged people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their places as house floats, or go DIY, then register on their map. We now reference the map as we walk – making it a lot easier to find places than the rumor-sharing and wandering we were all doing before.
As days pass without our normal marathon of parades, it’s becoming more important to have reminders that we are still New Orleanians living in an often magical city. It’s getting harder to see St. Charles Ave. devoid of crowds, floats, tents, barbecues, toddlers on ladder chairs, and beads everywhere. Seeing the city as a stationary parade has helped lift my spirits.
I did get to dance with the Pussyfooters in a drive-thru parade at City Park called Floats in the Oaks. Floats from nearly every Krewe in the city are parked on one side of the road and bands and dance krewes perform in the neutral ground. I’ll be joining my Pussyfooters sisters again this weekend and maybe again next week.
The Irish Channel area decided to go with a theme – Channel Surfing. House Floats include tributes to Reading Rainbow and Scooby Doo. I’m sure the Jeopardy house I included in my Magazine Street post belongs with these, but there are also Magazine St. houses included below. Bottom line – nearly everywhere you look – festivity and creativity abound.
My favorite of this area was actually the house that was dressed traditionally with purple, green and gold lights and decor, and a Mardi Gras tree on the porch. Traditional Carnival tunes played and for a moment as I danced joyously in the street, it was almost like a float passing.