Mardi Gras 2021: The Year House Floats Were Born
By Alejandra Guzmán
Click aqui para español- >Mardi Gras 2021: El año que nacieron las casas carrozas
Mardi Gras celebrations in 2021 will not include New Orleans’ traditional parades, which take place yearly during carnival season. The need to cancel the usual way of celebrating was necessary to keep our city healthy, as we now understand that large gatherings are COVID-19 super spreader events.
While we will not have parades this year, this does not mean there will not be other ways to keep the tradition alive, our spirits high, and support the local economy. During a traditional year, Mardi Gras has a direct economic benefit of about $144 million for the city. Although we may not see this kind of economic impact, creative initiatives have emerged to allow for a safe carnival season and to support local artists and vendors who depend on Mardi Gras for their incomes.
“Hire A Mardi Gras Artist” is an initiative created by the Krewe of Red Beans to produce 40 extravagantly decorated homes during the 2021 carnival season. The first house to be decorated under this program is on Toledano Street. Its theme honors the late iconic musician Dr. John, and it includes a large skull, snakes, flowers, and Cyprus oak trees. This initiative combines a donation drive with a lottery system, and its goal is to raise $10,000 per home. Donors enter a raffle to have their house decorated.
The do-it-yourself house-decorating group called “Krewe of House Floats” is an organized group that started on Facebook that has gained thousands of followers. Sub-krewes of decorators worked the house floats located around more than 30 neighborhoods in New Orleans.
The group got started under the belief that if we cannot safely gather by the parade route this year, we can still bring the spirit of carnival home to celebrate the season in a pandemic-safe manner.
The decoration of house floats began on January 6 and will culminate on February 16. This vital effort will provide donations to organizations around the city that support those affected most by Mardi Gras’s cancellation.
The site www.kreweofhousefloats.org includes a list of artists and vendors that can get hired to decorate your home. You can also find a map with the location of all the house floats throughout the city so that you can visit.
VIVA NOLA February-March 2021 You can support VIVA NOLA’s mission of connecting communities by donating here. Your support, in any amount, is very appreciated.