New Orleans invents a glorious new tradition with ‘Yardi Gras’
Since 1857, Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans have been called off only 14 times, because of war, mob violence, or labor disputes. Not even the last great pandemic could quell the street parades. Mark the history books: This year will be the 15th.
Much as the city came together after the devastation of Hurricane Katina, turning Carnival into a celebration of hope amid the mourning, Crescent City citizens are still letting the good times roll and supporting each other while they’re at it. What started as a fundraiser by the Krewe of Red Beans to help Mardi Gras float artists generate an income after all the parades were canceled, “house floats” have boomed with a joyful DIY spirit.
City officials have taken to calling it “Yardi Gras.”
The Krewe of House Floats is another organization building and documenting them and raising money for the community in the process. There are well over 3,000 now, with more being added ahead of the Feb 16. holiday. They can be found as far west as Lake Charles as well as southern parts of Louisiana such as Houma.
Mardi Gras float artists already have houses booked for next year, so the new tradition is sure to stick around. Here are some of our favorites.