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Party carries on in New Orleans with "Yardi Gras"

Virus Outbreak Paradeless Mardi Gras
Posted at 7:23 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 09:23:01-05

Giving up has never been in the DNA of New Orleans, so the cancellation of Mardi Gras parades due to the pandemic didn't kill off an old tradition, it jump-started a new one: Yardi Gras.

It's a parade where spectators are the ones on the move and homes are dotted with decor. "Whenever he gets older, I want to look back and show him how Mardi Gras was in quarantine," said Alyssa Hicks, a mother.

Yardi Gras started as a social media joke. Megan Boudreaux tweeted that without parades, she would turn her house into a float. Now, some 3,000 New Orleans homes are part of an immobile porch parade.

"I'm definitely overwhelmed at just how over the top the response has been," Boudreaux said.

On First Street, it's like shark week — they sank their teeth into it. Down the block, neighbors honor a local favorite, the Cafe Du Monde beignet.

"New Orleans is going to have a good time no matter what," a resident said.

To help the community, some homeowners hired out-of-work artists or rented props from struggling float companies. Some residents hope the decorated homes become a tradition.

From the wild to the whimsical, the stationary parade has brought neighbors together, turning Mardi Gras into a literal house party and finding a way to let the good times roll.