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How house floats became a new tradition for New Orleans

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Posted at 11:44 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 13:44:04-05

NEW ORLEANS — Outdoor decorations are part of a new big easy tradition. 

"I feel like this is a great tradition that came out of a crazy time," resident Maurice Sholas said.

When COVID forced New Orleans to cancel Mardi Gras with its elaborate floats and must have thrown in 2021, New Orleans resident Megan Boudreaux took to Twitter to vent.  

"Parades have been canceled, you know, OK, no big deal. I'll just decorate my flat — my house — to look like a float, and I'll throw beads at my neighbors when they walk by my house," Boudreaux said.

She found herself at the helm of a new Mardi Gras tradition — the house float.  

Quick history lesson: New Orleans residents always decorated for carnival season. They use items like Mardi Gras beads, banners, even Christmas tree lights to decorate their homes. Sometimes, they even use Christmas trees.

But never like this.

A year later, eager homeowners still participate.  

"I do a tribute to my favorite parts of Mardi Gras and the Mardi Gras Indians," Sholas said. "Last year, the subject, Chief Montana, came and stood outside of my home and sang."

"It was really fun to be able to be a part of like something, sort of on the ground floor of something that we felt like was going to become a tradition," resident Andrew Greaves said.

Artists and float builders who lost their income from creating floats also benefit from this new celebration. 

"The greatest free show on Earth is not actually free," Joy Bruce said.

The show is rolling on New Orleans streets again.

But this year — and for years to come — there will be a new way to help celebrate. 

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