Happy YARDI GRAS from the Krewe of House Floats! It’s not a typo. Yardi? This is how Mardi Gras 2021 is being celebrated in New Orleans this year due to the pandemic and uptick of COVID-19. The Krewe of House Floats (KoHF) is a socially-distant Mardi Gras krewe founded under the belief that if we cannot safely gather together on the parade route in 2021, then we can bring the spirit of the parades home to celebrate the Carnival season in a pandemic-safe manner that supports friends, neighbors, local culture, and locally owned businesses. Leave it to New Orleans to come up with a back-up plan for their biggest celebration of the year.

According to Biz New Orleans, Megan Boudreaux had the idea back in November to decorate her house like a float for Mardi Gras this year after the cancellation was announced. She thought about recruiting some of her neighbors to do the same and the idea quickly went viral. That is when Krewe of House Floats was born. They now have thousands of registered participants.

So what is Yardi Gras? The way this works is the residents can decorate their homes like a Mardi Gras parade float. There are neighborhood subkrewe captains and themes. Many are hiring local artists or float builders to decorate their house for them while complying with the Parade At Home Order to mask up and keeping at least 6 feet away from other revelers. You can also participate in Yardi Gras by getting a map of participants and viewing all of the homes in the ‘parade’ by walking, biking, or driving for a tour of the different neighborhoods to see all of the decorations. Brilliant, right?

Krewe of House Floats Facebook
Krewe of House Floats Facebook

The parade maps will go public on February 1, 2021 so people can tour neighborhoods at your leisure. The idea is to NOT to have different days for different neighborhoods in order to avoid drawing crowds or traffic to one place at the same time.

Anyone interested in Lafayette? KoHF is open to everyone around the globe.

Anyone in Lafayette can sign up as a member and participate. KOHF is worldwide. - Megan Boudreaux

On Mardi Gras Day, everyone will ‘parade at home’ by dancing on their porches and throwing things to their neighbors. According to Krewe of House Floats website, although throws are NOT required, you can make throws but they must be distributed in pandemic-safe ways. Their official KoHF signature throw for 2021 is masks. (The kind of mask that covers your nose and mouth.) They are encouraging members to get creative by recycling, crafting, and supporting local Mardi Gras vendors to purchase what you need for throws. Everyone participating is also required to clean up any mess that is made since there will be no sweepers.

The Krewe has also suggested the use of art supply pantries, which are free use of decorations and art supplies, for those who can’t afford to decorate their home. They suggested the Art Pantry Facebook Group for more information on that. Another idea for those who can’t afford to decorate their house is to get with their neighborhood subkrewe to see if someone is looking to adopt a home to decorate.

What a great idea.  Happy Yardi Gras, Y’all!

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