New Orleans is dropping the large gatherings in favor of ‘house floats’ and drive-through celebrations. Bars are closed and Bourbon Street is barricaded, so the holiday is quite laid back compared to the norm.
If you’re wondering what exactly a house float is, the above photo is a great example. You might see hundreds of these, or many masked dancers and other performances, as you drive through the city during Carnival. The truth is on the hanging sign to the left: “This year the houses are king.”
This candyland-themed house float is a more laid-back example–and one of more than one hundred in the Algiers Point neighborhood.
Here’s another Algiers Point house float, titled the “U.S.S. House Float”. Megan Boudreaux, head of Krewe of House Floats, stands proudly in front of her domicile and creation.
These house floats are certainly impressive, and do their part in keeping artists employed for a Mardi Gras with no parades. But it can’t be denied that this year’s event is depressing compared to the norm. It’s basically Christmas in February, but with no presents, and distant jazz music in place of “Wonderful Christmastime”.
It is, however, certainly less depressing than the continued spread of Covid-19.
And there is yet another silver lining to be found: when else will such a different sort of Mardi Gras occur in New Orleans? It’s worth checking out purely on account of its uniqueness.