Editor’s Note

Altered Reality

Everyone in the world has now experienced the COVID-19 version of a holiday season, and — for those that heeded the scientific and medical advice — that has meant much smaller gatherings, much simpler versions of honoring traditions, or even making new ones. It hasn’t been easy to forego the hugs, the trips, the raucous rooms of celebration, but most of us have recognized that it’s a necessity if we want to keep our community safe.

But this is different. For most of the world, the celebrations ended Jan. 1., and this month holds no other special significance than maybe a Valentine’s Day celebration with a partner. For all of us, however, it brings another loss — one that seems more poignant because it’s not universally shared. It’s true that everywhere else it’s “just another Tuesday,” which is what has always made it extra special to be here. I experienced my first Carnival 10 years ago, and I’ve been struggling to fully explain to friends and family what it’s like ever since. I think it’s because you can’t, really. You have to be here. And if you weren’t, well, honestly, we felt sorry for you.

That being said, I’ve far from given up on the season, and thankfully, I’m not alone. Outside of the social aspect, Carnival is a celebration of artistry, beauty and food, and all of those things are still with us! We’ve got house floats to see, king cakes to devour (including first-ever offerings by culinary institutions like Brennan’s and Galatoire’s), music to blast and ridiculous outfits to pull from overflowing costume bins and closets.

It may not look like we’re used to, but the party will go on, and Lord knows we could all use it right now.

Happy Carnival Y’all!

Kimberley Singletary, Managing Editor