Things are a little different this year” is a phrase we’ve heard ad nauseam. But when it comes to holidays and celebratory events, it’s hard not to notice how much has changed due to the pandemic. One of those important festivities is Mardi Gras. Any other year, folks in New Orleans would be partying like frat boys and rockstars. The city would illuminate with lights, and beads, and cakes. People usually travel from all over the world just to get a taste of what New Orleans has to offer. New Orleans is unique because of its spirit. It’s one of those special cities that doesn’t let anything get in the way of a good time. Not even Covid.
So what is New Orleans doing for Mardi Gras? Rather than the famous crowded parade, neighbors decorate their homes’ exteriors to raise a proverbial glass to Mardi Gras. They’re probably raising some real glasses too. And the art that has gone into decorating is nothing short of exceptional, leading people to declare these decked-out homes as “house floats” in place of parade floats.
Most notable of the house floats in the uptown Krewe du Jazz (which will remain decorated until February 27th). Looking straight on, you’ll notice an exceptional mural of portraits. Among the honored are jazz legends like Ellis Marsalis, Al “Big Al” Carson, Alfred “Uganda” Roberts, and Jesse “The Midnight Creeper” Hathorne. Artists collaborated with Krewe du Jazz’s current resident (a Jazz Foundation board member) to pay homage to Mardi Gras, Jazz, and New Orleans.
The purpose of these house floats is to bring hope and light to New Orleans. Bringing artists and musicians together is just a piece of the magic that is created by the Krewe du Jazz. It also attracts attention to The Jazz Foundation, supporting the transcendent, timeless nature of jazz by providing emergency funding and job opportunities to musicians in need.