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6 Ways to Celebrate Mardi Gras at Home in New Orleans This Year

Fat Tuesday will look much different this year because of the pandemic, but there are still some fun ways to enjoy Mardi Gras at home safely with your family.

New Orleans boiled crawfish and shrimp
New Orleans boiled crawfish and shrimp

The cancellation of Mardi Gras parades was not going to stop New Orleanians from getting into the Carnival spirit this season. From house floats to unique twists on the original king cake, residents are creating fun, new Fat Tuesday traditions.

For the first time in 42 years, Mardi Gras will look much different, but the good times will still be rolling in households throughout the city. Here are a few ways you can partake in the festivities safely from the comfort of home:

Watch Mardi Gras for All Y’all

New Orleans native and Today Show host, Hoda Kotb, will be hosting the virtual event Mardi Gras for All Y’all. It will be shown on NOLA.com and theadvocate.com, YouTube and Facebook Live, February 12th – 14th at 8pm CT.

The program will feature more than four hours of programming with 90 individual segments, featuring food, a look at floats, costumes and feature stories about the history, culture and traditions behind Mardi Gras, along with 20 musical performances. The show will be rebroadcast on Lundi Gras, February 15th and Mardi Gras, February 16th.

Order takeout

New Orleans cuisine remains a centerpiece of the Mardi Gras holiday. Support local restaurants and order delicious takeout from one of your favorite spots. Or, take home live crawfish and have a backyard crawfish boil with the fam.

Indulge in king cake

It wouldn’t feel like Mardi Gras without picking up a king cake to share. Haydel’s, Antoine’s and Randazzo’s are a few local favorites, but if you want an even bigger selection of shops to choose from, visit the King Cake Hub on North Broad Street.

Mardi Gras at home, New Orleans king cake
New Orleans king cake from Manny Randazzo’s

Decorate/Dress up

Yardi Gras is all the craze this Carnival. Decorating your house and yard for Mardi Gras and dressing up are great ways to get in the spirit. This doesn’t have to be expensive either. Keeping it simple with a few Mardi Gras accessories and decorations can go a long way, especially with the kids. They’ll have a blast helping you get ready. Here are a few Mardi Gras stores to check out:

Make shoebox floats

Schoolchildren throughout the metro area have been making shoebox floats for decades. But in recent years, adults joined in the fun. You can even save money on materials by using tiny objects around the house and recycled Mardi Gras throws. With a little imagination and creativity, this art project is sure to please in a big way.

Look at house floats

Since the city of New Orleans cancelled Mardi Gras parades, many residents and organizations turned their porches and balconies into house floats.

The Krewe of House Floats launched a campaign to donate $100,000 to New Orleans residents facing unemployment and food and housing insecurity. Their Facebook group currently has more than 14,000 members. If you’d like to hop in the car to see these extravagantly decorated houses in person, here’s the Krewe of House Floats map.

Once again, New Orleanians have shown strength and resilience in the midst of adversity. And the phenomenon of house floats has become a vision of New Orleans culture for people around the world.

For more on Mardi Gras 2021, check out Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide.

Cheers to a fun, safe Mardi Gras…Let the good times roll.

To learn more about the history and culture of Mardi Gras, visit yurview.com.