NEW ORLEANS — It’s Carnival, but different.
The parades were the first thing to be cancelled. There’s no Rex and no King Zulu, so that means for Carnival 2021, houses are king.
House Floats are popping up everywhere people love Mardi Gras, and they’re just as diverse as they are widespread.
The Eye on Carnival House Floats Special gets you up close and personal with all the biggest and brightest house floats in Louisiana and around the world.
What’s a House Float?
All around New Orleans and across the world thousands of houses are being decorated as Mardi Gras floats after the coronavirus pandemic canceled crowded parades for the 2021 Carnival season.
Houses are to be decorated at least two weeks before Fat Tuesday, which is Feb. 16 this year.
MAP: Krewe of House Floats decorated homes for Mardi Gras 2021
How the Krewe of House Floats formed
The “house float” movement started almost as soon as a New Orleans spokesman announced Nov. 17 that parades were off.
That morning, Megan Joy Boudreaux posted what she later called a silly Twitter joke: “We’re doing this. Turn your house into a float and throw all the beads from your attic at your neighbors walking by.”
But the more she thought about it, the more she liked it. She started a Facebook group, the Krewe of House Floats, expecting a few friends and neighbors to join. The numbers rose. Thirty-nine subgroups evolved to discuss neighborhood plans.
By Carnival season’s official start Jan. 6, the group had more than 9,000 members, including out-of-state “expats.”
Devin DeWulf, who already had started two pandemic charities as head of the Krewe of Red Beans walking club, kicked the house float idea up a few notches at the suggestion of Caroline Thomas, a professional float designer. Their “Hire a Mardi Gras Artist” crowdfunded lotteries collected enough money to put crews to work decorating 11 houses, plus commissioned work at two more houses and seven businesses.