By Lori Perkins
Last year Mardi Gras in New Orleans ended up being the first super spreader event of what has now become the year-long (so far) international COVID-19 pandemic (a new study found that up to 50,000 cases resulted after Mardi Gras 2020). This year, there are no floats, no open bars, no street cook-outs.
That has not deterred the celebration. Residents have decorated their homes and porches with giant masks as though they were the traditional floats of days gone by – in such varied scenarios as tributes to Stacey Abrams, Prince, Elvis and even Alice in Wonderland. The display of porch floats was so impressive that the local newspaper, The Times-Picayune, put together a coffee table photo book that you can order to commemorate the year.
Even though bars and restaurants are closed, there’s plenty of programming for people to watch from home this year. Mardi Gras for All Y’all is a three-day event featuring local talent which includes performances from parade icons, music from jazz bands, school bands, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and chefs like Toya Boudy.
Arthur Hardy, publisher of a Mardi Gras guide for 44 years, described the event to the New York Times, “They’ve got a total of five hours of Mardi Gras vignettes, interviews with 90 people, Hoda Kotb, Harry Connick Jr. They spent a fortune putting this thing together and it’s really going to be good. They’re hoping to get a worldwide audience to see what they’re missing and hopefully come back next year.”
You can make your own masks and watch the event as you order in from the local Popeye’s and make a small King cake. Laissez les bon temps rouler!