A few weeks ago I was trying to get to a restaurant on Jeff Davis Pkwy in New Orleans, and was shocked to see that the name of the street had been replaced on my GPS, and all street signs. The new name is N. Norman C. Francis Pkwy, and it is just one of the street names that the city of New Orleans is revising to reflect the changing times.

At least 25-30 more are being considered for name changes, to terminate honoring people who were associated with slavery, the Confederacy, or other horrible things in the past. And many statues around the city have been taken down over the years for the same reason.

So, if you drove down Canal Street yesterday near the intersection of N. Norman C. Francis Pkwy, instead of a bare pedestal, where a statue of Jeff Davis used to stand, there was a beautiful Mardi Gras Indian suit, just in time for Fat Tuesday. The gorgeous nine-foot suit, which was designed by Demond Melancon, Big Chief of the Young Seminole Hunter tribe, is behind a plexiglass case. Since most carnival festivities were curtailed this year due to the pandemic, it was uplifting to see the unique tradition of the Mardi Gras Indians was still going strong.

Melancon told NOLA.com that he did not get permission to install the beautiful work of art, he just did it, with the help of “some fairy angels" in the middle of the night. He went on to say that this was meant to be a part of ensuring a safe carnival season. “This is a way of me showing we can stand in solidarity with the mayor. We hope everybody sticks to the guidelines."

Not sure how long the installment will be up in New Orleans, but it might be worth a trip to see it. Check out photos from NOLA.com here, and a video below.

 

My Mardi Gras MVP List