If you read my last post of the fabulous costumes of Fat Tuesday, you’ve already seen a few of the house floats in the Marigny, the neighborhood across Esplanade from the French Quarter. “Yardi Gras,” the 2021 socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, has turned houses and businesses throughout the city (and even the world) into parade floats. The grassroots 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. The spectacular displays by float artists like Kern Studios have turned one St. Charles Ave. yard into a circus and another into a jurassic park – with top hats and masques.
I’ve already covered the French Quarter, St. Charles Ave., Magazine Street, the Irish Channel, Mid-City, the Garden District and the Lower Garden District. Whereas St. Charles is known for grand floats and super-krewe parades, the Marigny is home to quirkier parades with floats mostly constructed in garages and living rooms. I love the ‘tit Rex parade – shoebox floats that pack all the artistry and satire of a Krewe D’ Etat float into a 9 West box pulled by a string. The house floats of the Marigny often showed that same homespun artistry.
Some standouts were the magical fabric fort with a mannequin holding a sign reading, “Today’s weather – It’s raining men!” (As I’ve been wandering these floats for the last few weeks, I’ve sometimes wondered if there’s any other city where so many people own mannequins and/or skeletons). I also loved the flower festooned Fleur de Marigny house and the next-door combo of the MidSommar Night’s Dream alongside Antony and Cleopatra.
A couple of these house floats were already featured in nighttime photos of my Krewe du Vieux Parade (sorta) post and the Fat Tuesday post, so regular visitors to this blog may recognize them.
Next up – house floats in Algiers.