The ban of Mardi Gras parades was announced last November by New Orleans’s Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s office as part of the city’s effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. However, New Orleans have since found a way to plan for a grand Mardi Gras celebration. The city will have House Floats instead of parades.
Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday” in French, is defined as the two-week celebratory period that leads up to the beginning of Lent. “Fat Tuesday” marks the last day for people to eat all the food they can’t eat during Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Crowds of 1.4 million people are usually drawn to the streets of New Orleans, as big parades occur to celebrate the last night of eating for “Fat Tuesday”.
This House Floats idea started as a mere twitter joke by resident Megan Joy Bourdeaux back in November but it has grown to a full-blown citywide initiative. Bordeaux created the Krewe of House Floats. An idea of how much Bordeaux’s initiative has grown can be concluded from the fact that the Facebook group for the House Floats Krewe has more than 12,000 members.
The House Floats Krewe initiative started a snowball effect inspiring more people to take initiative.
The Snowball effect could also be noted through the Krewe of Red beans taking initiative and putting together a service through which artists were able to transform donor’s homes. The artists need about two weeks per house to be Mardi Gras ready. There have also been crowd-funded lotteries that have raised sufficient funds to finance the decorating of 11 homes.
While Bordeaux ignited the first spark, the whole city came together to create a memorable Mardi Gras proving its resilience and its community spirit. The ever-bustling streets of New Orleans will be unfamiliarly empty but The House Floats gives New Orleans hope and Mardi Gras fans something to look forward to.