When Fat Tuesday arrives in New Orleans this year it will be a little different. Normally more than one million attendees would pack the streets of New Orleans, but due to COVID, all the Mardi Gras parades are canceled. But don’t fret, the holiday is still being celebrated, it’s just a little different this year, a smaller, safer way.
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Homes Become Parade Floats
The homes in New Orleans are being decorated as creative Mardi Gras floats. Also, all the Carnival season’s rituals and culture will be kept alive in many new ways as the city welcomes back tourists from around the world.
New Orleans spokesperson, Kelly Schulz will be live high atop a Mardi Gras float at Mardi Gras World. It’s the museum and float den dedicated to all things Carnival located on New Orleans downtown riverfront. She will be talking about the unique holiday and what visitors can look forward to when they return to New Orleans.
2021 Mardi Gras Facts
Mardi Gras season begins on Twelfth Night (January 6) and lasts through Mardi Gras Day, which falls on Tuesday, February 16 this year.
Mardi Gras in New Orleans typically means dancing in the streets, standing on the street making friends with strangers, and watching endless Mardi Gras floats roll by, but this year many of the parade organizations (called Krewes) are doing scavenger hunts, drive-by events, virtual events, and one parade will allow you to even catch virtual goodies on their unique app.
The King Cake Tradition
The traditional Mardi Gras confection with a tiny plastic baby doll symbolizing Jesus hidden deep inside the dough, is flowing in abundance this year as Carnival organizers find new ways to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive.
King Cakes are oval-shaped to symbolize the unity of faiths. Each cake is decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors – purple representing justice, green representing faith, and gold representing power.
Create Your Own Type Of King Cake
- 2 Packages of Crescent Rolls – 8 count
- 4 oz Cream Cheese
- 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Raisins – Optional
- 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
- Small Plastic Baby
- Lay the Crescent rolls out in a circle with the pointy ends inward on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Be sure to overlap the sides of the crescent rolls.
- Mix the next 4 ingredients together with a mixer.
- Spread the creamy ingredients around the inside of the circle, leaving 3 inches of the pointy part uncovered.
- Place the baby somewhere inside the circle.
- Overlap the long ends of the crescent rolls on top of each other.
- Then overlap the pointy ends of the crescent rolls, until you have a wreath look.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let cool
- 1 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3 – 4 Tablespoons of Milk
- Sugar Sprinkles – Purple, Green, and Gold
- Mix until Smooth
- Pour over the cooled King Cake.
- Sprinkle the sugar on top of the icing in a thick striped format.
Visiting New Orleans For Mardi Gras
Visitors are still welcome to New Orleans, but they must wear a mask, keep socially distant, wash their hands and adhere to the local guidelines.
Restaurants are open for dine-in or take-out, and special Mardi Gras packages are available at hundreds of New Orleans’s best eateries.
What is Fat Tuesday
Fat Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day solemn Lenten season leading up to Easter Sunday.
Mardi Gras started in New Orleans the day Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville, soldier, ship captain, explorer, and founder of the French colony of Louisiana in New France, arrived in the area in 1699, with the first parade dating back to the Krewe of Rex in 1857.
NOLA Hospitality SAFE
A community of local hospitality operators, business partners, and guests committed to keeping residents and visitors healthy while reopening the economy. Hotels, restaurants, musicians, and others have taken a pledge to follow COVID-19 reopening guidelines including wearing face coverings, following CDC-recommended sanitation practices, limiting capacity to allow for distancing, and more. In turn, it’s asked that visitors make a similar pledge to ensure that the safety of everyone is top of mind.
For more information, please visit their website at How to Celebrate Mardi Gras 2021 in New Orleans