“Yardi Gras” is the 2021 socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, where instead of crowding around floats throwing toys and beads, we’ve been wandering the city on foot and by car to see house floats – thousands of homes and businesses throughout the city decorated as parade floats. Krewe of House Floats promoted this safe parade concept, encouraging people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their places, or go DIY, then register on their map. In the search for these fun and fabulous house floats, I’ve already covered St. Charles Ave., Magazine Street, the Irish Channel, Mid-City and the Garden District and Lower Garden District.
The historic French Quarter doesn’t have the luxury of large front lawns to take on their Yardi Gars displays, so lots of people chose to decorate their wrought iron balconies. My favorite is probably the Krewe of Sub-Krewe house with it’s life-sized paper mache 610 Stomper and Pussyfooters dancers. I’m terribly biased since I parade with the Pussyfooters and have been delighted to see how many house floats have included our imagery. We may only have been able to dance at the Floats in the Oaks stationary parade in City Park, but our pink corseted women have popped up on streets throughout the city. Rubenstein’s on Canal Street had life-sized cutouts of 610 Stomper and Pussyfooters dancers along with a king, a Krewe of Zulu rider throwing a bead, a beaded and feathered Mardi Gras Indian, a marching band member, and a flambeau (people carrying gas lantern to light the path in the pre-streetlamp way). Basically, it was everyone you’d see in a parade.
I also really like the Krewe of Muses house featuring rubber duckies and glittery Muses shoes, the beautifully painted cutouts of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band standing on their balcony, and the house with the mannequins dressed in krewe rider gear posed throwing beads to us below.
Next up – house floats in the Marigny and Algiers.