Weekly, we learn of local businesses and community members who are positively adapting to the constant challenges, directly and indirectly, brought about by the pandemic. Last week, New Orleans’ adaptation to Mardi Gras was such an inspiration in finding the bright side in any situation. Previously observed with an elaborate celebration of parades and masquerade balls, this year looked a little different when a socially-distanced Mardi Gras was needed.
The city’s parade cancellation and restrictions on gatherings pushed local traditions and classic Mardi Gras festivities to take a new approach: House Floats! With more than 140 houses decorated in float decor in New Orleans, a carnival of color and celebration spread to over 3,000 homes across 40 states. Did you happen to catch these homes on The Today Show? There’s even an Alexandria home featured at minute 2:56 of The Today Show clip! You can see all the locations of “Krewe of House Floats” and participants on this interactive map.
This movement and its positive reception on a national scale show the importance of community and creativity, especially in the wake of the pandemic. Crowdfunded initiatives to support local artists were started to give these artists and float-makers an outlet for creativity and business. New Orleans’ House Floats or “Yardi Gras” was a hit nationally, inspiring us all with this non-traditional version of the city’s long-standing, festive tradition.
The House Floats are more than just an adaptation to pandemic restrictions. They symbolize community and resilience. States away, we can continue to appreciate that although things are different this year, we can still celebrate each other and find new ways to revamp and modify our traditions and celebrations to fit our needs (especially in our socially-distant world).