Mardi Gras is an annual celebration at our house. We share our Louisiana heritage and customs with friends in DC. We also partake in Mardi Gras celebrations around the District before traveling to the bayou for the real deal. Even though Mardi Gras parades and related events on hold this year due to the coronavirus, the show must go on. There are still lots of ways to celebrate Mardi Gras from the cozy confines of your home.
Here are just a few of the ways to celebrate Mardi Gras at home with your kiddos.
Make a shoebox float.
A classic Mardi Gras tradition for Louisiana kids is making a shoebox float. So grab a shoebox from the closet—or improvise with one of the Amazon boxes stacking up by your back door. Simply glue (hot glue recommend) the two pieces of the shoebox together in an L shape. Viola!—you have a float. Then, let the kiddos bling the box out with construction paper, sequins, rhinestones, or any other supplies you have at home.
Eat Cajun food. Popeye’s counts.
Jambalaya, crawfish pies, and file gumbo are Louisiana classics. But, fried chicken from Popeye’s is a staple all along the parade route in New Orleans. UberEats yourself some Popeye’s for something casual or check out the Mardi Gras HQ at Bayou Bakery, where you can order a King Cake for pickup or even get a slice delivered. Go fancy with Convivial’s Mardi Gras dinner, or order from Due South, which always has Southern staples and is serving up a Fat Tuesday Feast.
Wear purple, green and gold.
Purple, green, and gold are the official colors of Mardi Gras. Put them on! If you want to feel super festive for Mardi Gras at home, add boas, sequins, tutus, or anything else that makes you happy. And listen to some fun Mardi Gras music while you are at it!
Parade down your block or alley.
Grab your Radio Flyer and fill the wagon with beads. Don’t have beads lying around your house? That is not a problem because all kinds of throws come off the floats at Mardi Gras. Balls, stuffed animals, individually wrapped snacks (like Zapps and Moon Pies!), and just about anything else you can think of are thrown from the floats on Mardi Gras day. Load up your wagon and surprise your neighbors with a socially distant DIY Mardi Gras at-home parade.
View the Krewe of House Floats online—or decorate your own house.
Though there are not any Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans this year, the spirit and tradition of Mardi Gras are still strong. One way people are celebrating is by decorating their houses as Mardi Gras floats. This is all the rage in New Orleans right now and I highly recommend Google imaging “house float New Orleans.” The New Orleans Times Picayune has a photo collection of over 250 House Floats. The creativity that has gone into this is nothing short of mind-blowing. If you are feeling inspired, decorate your own house and be part of the fun! There are some houses on Capitol Hill that are decked out for Mardi Gras at-home. Go for a ride and see if you can find any near you.