New Orleans Let’s The Good Times Roll

Not even a global pandemic can curtail Louisiana creativity.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism hosted a Thursday webinar that showed the state’s Mardi Gras celebrations are underway, even with social distancing resulting from coronavirus in place.

“The celebration of Mardi Gras is still alive in New Orleans,” Louisiana assistant secretary of tourism Doug Bourgeois told viewers.

Social distancing means that parades and crowds aren’t on hand this year but Louisiana residents have been decorating their homes, turning them into stationary floats, with the practice dubbed Yardi Gras.

People can see the different decorations while walking or passing in vehicles.

“That’s something that’s really cool,” Bourgeois’ colleague Jennifer Berthelot said of the “really beautiful” homes, adding Louisianans are determined to “celebrate from home the best way we know how.”

Amy Sims, a New Orleans chef and cookbook author who gave viewers tips on preparing local dishes and drinks, said Louisiana natives who are now living elsewhere are following suit, with one in the distant United Arab Emirates decorating her door “so she could celebrate” with those she once shared a state with.

Sims has done her part by placing a seven-foot wine box in her front yard, the sort of outlandish behavior that led one non-Louisiana observer to joke that “New Orleans has lost its collective mind” when celebrating this year.

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