Covid-19 brought new challenges to the city of New Orleans, including the hard decision to cancel the traditional Mardi Gras parades in 2021. The mayor herself declared that Mardi Gras would celebrate in it’s own way, stating that Mardi Gras 2021 would be “different, but not canceled”. New Orlean’s resident’s rose to the occasion, after a social media post suggested that residents dress up their own houses to replicate the floats of Mardi Gras.
Resident’s throughout the city and beyond began decorating their porches and yards in various themes, using whatever supplies they had available, to create iconic stories and over-the-top decor. More importantly, visitors could enjoy the decor in a safe way, without the normal crowds that line the parade routes.
Artists were especially hard hit during the pandemic, and several groups were established to raise funds and assist artist’s whom were facing unemployment. Kern Studios was called upon to dress up many houses during the season, in the Kern Studio way – a BIG way. From a full circus, to life-size dinosaurs and 12′ tall Jesters, Kern Studios made scenes that literally stopped traffic in the streets.
The efforts did not go unnoticed – House Floats were featured on news programs nationwide and internationally, and became a testament to the strength and resilience of the people of New Orleans. The tradition continues to stay alive, and residents are already putting on their best decor for Mardi Gras 2022.