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Party carries on in New Orleans with "Yardi Gras" as coronavirus restrictions limit traditional celebrations

Mardi Gras transforms into COVID-friendly party
New Orleans turns Mardi Gras into COVID-friendly celebration 01:38

New Orleans — Giving up has never been in the DNA of New Orleans, so the cancellation of Mardi Gras parades due to the pandemic didn't kill off an old tradition, it jump-started a new one: Yardi Gras. 

It's a parade where spectators are the ones on the move and homes are dotted with decor.  "Whenever he gets older, I want to look back and show him how Mardi Gras was in quarantine," said Alyssa Hicks, a mother. 

Yardi Gras started as a social media joke. Megan Boudreaux tweeted that without parades, she would turn her house into a float. Now, some 3,000 New Orleans homes are part of an immobile porch parade. 

Visitors talk with a hostess on February 13, 2021, during Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, Louisiana.   Xinhua/Lan Wei via Getty Images

"I'm definitely overwhelmed at just how over the top the response has been," Boudreaux said. 

On First Street, it's like shark week — they sank their teeth into it. Down the block, neighbors honor a local favorite, the Cafe Du Monde beignet. 

"New Orleans is going to have a good time no matter what," a resident said. 

To help the community, some homeowners hired out-of-work artists or rented props from struggling float companies. Some residents hope the decorated homes become a tradition. 

From the wild to the whimsical, the stationary parade has brought neighbors together, turning Mardi Gras into a literal house party and finding a way to let the good times roll. 

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