Mardi Gras in New Orleans becomes “Yardi Gras”

With the cancellation of the New Orleans Mardi Gras parades and public celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic, residents of NOLA have not passed on the opportunity to celebrate. Welcome to “Yardi-Gras,” where residents have turned their houses and front yards and businesses into beautiful, colorful floats.

With Fat Tuesday coming on February 16, and Mardi Gras upon us, New Orleanians have worked to create unique decorations of their houses that replicate Mardi Gras floats.

Since the announcement about the cancellation of parades. the house float phenomenon has exploded. As Janet McConnaughey writes for the Associated Press, “You just can’t keep a good city down, especially when Mardi Gras is coming.” Thousands of houses and business have jumped into the creation of house floats.

New Orleans resident Megan Boudreaux decided that the pandemic was not going to prevent her from celebrating, so almost immediately after the city cancelled the parades, she took to social media to get into the spirit of Mardi Gras. This was the day that the house float movement started, and she created a Facebook group, Krewe of House Floats, to organize, and there are currently approximately 15,000 members, and hundreds of house floats have sprung up around the city. The Krewe of House Floats has an interactive map that lists house floats, and a colorful, and inspiring Instagram.

According to this story by WWNO reporter Aubri Juhasz “the house float movement has given birth to a mini economy, putting laid-off musicians and artists back to work, saving businesses and fundraising for New Orleanians in need.”

New Orleanians have been able to capture the fun, the spirit, the joy and the community that makes Mardi Gras so special. Hopefully next year, both the house floats and the parade, will make New Orleans even more vibrant than ever. Below, check out some house floats from Instagram.