In these socially distant times, we’re missing out on many great moments of connection and celebration that we typically take for granted. Like Mardi Gras, for instance.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, Mardi Gras featured a huge carnival on Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday), originally intended to be the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the fasting of the Lenten season. But during a global pandemic, carnivals are out of the question. And even small-scale parades have been canceled around the world as we continue to battle against the coronavirus.
The residents of Country Place Senior Living Community in Fairhope, Alabama, still got some Mardi Gras fun, however, thanks to their young next-door neighbors at the Stars Early Learning Academy. The little party animals pushed decorated strollers, Little Tikes Cozy Coupes, and plastic toy shopping carts around Country Place, dancing as they went and waving to the residents watching them through their open windows. A trumpeter led the way, adding to the carnival atmosphere.
“Another big thank you to our neighbors, Stars Daycare for helping put together our social distanced Mardi Gras parade!” The Country Place Senior Living Community said on their Facebook page. “Between the festive live music and kids that are cuter than crawdads, our residents are truly in the Mardi Gras spirit!”
Here’s the post, complete with a gallery of images they shared:
According to WKRG News 5, the children have been parading for the residents as often as they can during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, including dressing up and putting on a show for Halloween. It’s undeniable — they couldn’t be cuter!
In New Orleans, where the Mardi Gras carnival originated, parades, second lines and other gatherings were prohibited this year, and certain streets were ordered closed for the day. But residents managed to get creative for the Feb. 16 holiday.
Here’s a Twitter post from local chef Kevin Belton, showing how some of the floats and music could still be experienced on city streets despite the restrictions:
Dr. John, Mardi Gras Indians, musicians and music all to celebrate this out of the ordinary Mardi Gras in a safer way. #yardigras #mardigras2021 #nola #mardigras #covidmardigras2021 #nolafreeze #beon4 @WWLTV pic.twitter.com/prdhiVcpOc
— Chef Kevin Belton (@ChefKevinBelton) February 16, 2021
In fact, residents have been stepping up to decorate their homes like house floats in a movement called #YardiGras, as seen here in a post from resident Maxwell Porter:
— Maxwell Porter (@MaxwellCPorter) February 15, 2021
And business owners are getting into the spirit as well.
“Early this morning, I texted half the people in my phone ‘Happy Mardi Gras’ and then drove the entire main parade route down St. Charles Avenue, blaring music from WWOZ, our local nonprofit jazz and heritage radio station, down into the French Quarter,” Scott Wood, owner of Courtyard Brewery in the Lower Garden District, told CNN.
“Everyone I’ve seen today is jovial,” Wood added. “It may be cold but it’s still Mardi Gras Day and that spirit is alive within us. We are no strangers to celebrating amidst and in spite of chaos.”