Krewe of House Floats Brings Mardi Gras To You
My cherished magical city has once again buoyed my spirits and lovingly roasted my heart. I’m sure we can all agree that sharing Taysom Hill’s new recipe for Dirty Bird Gumbo was utterly scrumptious and uplifting. But even more exciting than that is the creation of The Krewe of House Floats.
Megan Joy Boudreaux, a marine insurance claims manager, is spearheading this wonderful new way to celebrate Mardi Gras.
“When the city announced there would be no parades, I made an offhand comment on Twitter that I would just decorate my house and throw things at my neighbors,” Boudreaux says. “And then I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I started the Facebook group (last)Tuesday afternoon, and the rest is very fast-moving history.”
The Krewe of House Floats has experienced a wonderful tidal wave of interest. As of this morning, it had already signed on 4,000 followers and created at least 25 neighborhood sub krewes from Algiers Point to Old Jefferson. There’s even sub krewes all around the country in places such as Alabama, Arizona and Alaska.
“I know a lot of folks are sad and disappointed that Mardi Gras cannot be normal this year, but I am hoping that Krewe of House Floats can be a way for folks to channel their creative energy, make something positive out of a bad situation, and have something to look forward to in 2021,” Boudreuax says.
All are welcome to participate — whether you want to put up a few carnival decorations on your porch or go all out to showcase your creativity. There are no fees.
“This is really about coming up with creative ways to celebrate carnival that keep everyone safe until we can get through to the other side of this pandemic,” Boudreuax says. “Everything that the krewe leadership is working on right now is geared toward supporting your neighbors and the community while masking, social distancing and enjoying Mardi Gras without any crowds.”
As the idea is less than a week old, the group is understandably still coming up with ideas and putting in place much needed organization.
Currently, the Krewe of House Floats is working on a signature throw. Derek Gorsuch, an out-of-work local artist is curing the mold right now. It will be mass produced and available for purchase. But — and this is important — no one is required to purchase it.
“It’s just meant for a fun Krewe of House Floats 2021 item for the less creative and for those who do not have the time to make stuff,” says Gorsuch.
Many of the ideas being talked about could in a small way help Carnival-based businesses to make at least a bit of income. Ideas include unique flags, doubloons, cups and a wide variety of personalized throws. There is also much discussion on how to offer these throws safely.
Some participants are even discussing hiring float builders to assist, Mardi Gras Indians to strut their stuff and musicians to play at their floats.
Edward Cox, a professional theatrical set designer/decorator, is sharing practical DIY advice on the krewe’s Facebook page..
“In these uncertain and confusing times, one thing remains constant, and that is a New Orleanian’s innate ability to rise above any and all obstacles and challenges with a sense of style, flair and whimsy,” Cox says. “This citywide movement has taken a hold of our love of Carnival and its sadly but necessarily canceled parades. It’s given us hope, and a chance to unite to celebrate and share with our neighbors and friends. As a designer and creator, I couldn’t be more thrilled with this idea to celebrate. We’re sharing our New Orleanian Carnival pride together and taking it to the porches.”
Isolde Butler, a sub krewe captain, praised the effort as an awesomely low commitment endeavor.
“That said, part of what makes Mardi Gras dear to my heart has always been the camaraderie of planning, organizing and producing something special,” she says. “We also want to use our collective power to help artists/musicians/businesses as the icing on top.”
Hannah D Imberman, another krewe member, is planning to open pantries to provide supplies for those who don’t have extra income right now. She believes no one should be discouraged from participating due to lack of funds.
“Mardi Gras looks different this year, and it’s important to me that money not be a barrier in people participating in the fun,” she says on her Facebook page. “So, the goal is to set up three to five art pantries all over the city so that people can access supplies to help transform their homes.”
Krewe of House Floats’ Unofficial Mission
The intention is for this to be an all-inclusive group for anyone who wants to participate and celebrate a happy, healthy, socially distanced and safe Mardi Gras 2021.
How Readers Can Help
Check out the Facebook page and look for your neighborhood and sign up.
Spread the word.
If you have experience with putting on parades, building floats, website design, graphic design or any talents that could help, please contact the group. (Please be patient, things are still developing and Boudreaux is swamped).
Donate supplies to a pantry.
How Businesses Can Help
Anyone with supplies or services to offer is invited to do so- even if its to offer a discount on supplies or services to those participating.
Think about sponsoring a nonprofit or a school to help children and youth get involved.
The group plans to publish a map to all house floats. Your business could sponsor that map. What a great way to show your support of Carnival, this city and this glorious effort.