New Orleans and Mardi Gras go hand and hand, so it's impossible to imagine the city without the annual bacchanal festivities. But last year's celebration became one of the nation’s first superspreader events, so this year there were no parades for Carnival. But long before Fat Tuesday rolled around, locals were coming up with a new tradition: House Floats.
“Turn your house into a float and throw all the beads from your attic at your neighbors walking by,” wrote Megan Joy Boudreaux on Twitter the day in November that New Orleans officially canceled Mardi Gras 2021. NOLA residents embraced the idea, planning for an innovative take on Mardi Gras through a Krewe of House Floats Facebook group.
The results were more than 3,000 homes decorated in keeping with traditional Mardi Gras colors and themes (with some modern and very queer takes thrown into the gumbo as well). A crowdfunded “Hire a Mardi Gras Artist” initiative helped employ some of the out-of-work artists who would normally be hired to create and decorate the elaborate Mardi Gras floats that parade through the city for weeks during a "normal" Carnival season.
Here are some of the city's best, and queerest house floats of 2021. We love it and hope it becomes a new tradition! Photos by Erika Goldring/Getty Images.