New Orleans Residents Are Decorating Their Houses Amid Mardi Gras Cancellation, and It's Amazing

Emily Weaver

To help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently announced that all in-person Mardi Gras parades will not be allowed to operate this year. Mardi Gras is one of many large in-person celebrations to hit pause this year due to the pandemic, but that doesn't mean it won't still be celebrated. The mayor's office released a statement reassuring the people of New Orleans that Mardi Gras 2021 is "not cancelled, just different." The jubilant holiday known for its colorful beads, king cakes, and extravagant decorations is also the pinnacle season of tourism and foot traffic for Nola, a fighting backbone to the parade prohibition.

To keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive and in a modified fashion, Mayor Cantrell asked the community to brainstorm safe and COVID-19-friendly ways to celebrate the carnival season. The mayor explained that Mardi Gras is "a season of traditions that we celebrate every year, a time that the community comes together in formal, fun, and often unexpected ways," and that shouldn't go unnoticed this year. As of a result, community members came up with Yardi Gras, a miniature version of the traditional Mardi Gras parade, encouraging Nola residents to pizzazz their houses, front porches, and business as if they were parade floats. It's also a great way to support local artists and float builders who've lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Krewe of Red Beans created the Hire a Mardi Gras Artist program, where residents can make a donation to the fund and in exchange, enter the chance for their house to be carnival-sized!

It wouldn't feel like Mardi Gras without the splashes of purple, green, and gold, and gigantic cutouts and statues. From Bernie Sanders-themed yards to Dolly Parton tributes to house floats paying homage to Creole legends, the Nola community has truly outdone themselves this year. See some of our favorites ahead!

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