Despite restrictions, Mardi Gras spirit persevered

Mackenzie Bookamer, Arcade Editor

computer covered in mardi gras beads next to a hand grenade
Despite not being a traditional Mardi Gras, virtual events managed to capture the spirit of the holiday. (Daisy Rymer)

Mardi Gras in New Orleans is usually a time when tourists flock to the city to watch what seems like an endless amount of parades and be in good spirits with one another. Like most other events this past year, traditions had to be altered in the face of COVID-19. Mayor LaToya Cantrell suspended all parades and floats, as well as closing certain sections of the city in hopes of preventing future outbreaks. In light of this, and Mardi Gras World put on a three-night virtual event from Feb. 12-14 to commemorate the Carnival spirit — “Mardi Gras for All Y’all.” 

The three-night event featured a large number of notable guests such as chef Emeril Lagasse, Hoda Kotb and Archie Manning. Each night, there was a two-hour livestream on’s YouTube channel that viewers could tune into from anywhere in the world to participate in the virtual festivities. 

Night one featured a cameo by the Saintsations performing a cheer to get viewers energized for the rest of the night. The show also featured the well-known Krewe of Muses, known for throwing out shoes during parades to patrons standing by. The Preservation Hall Jazz Club also performed some pieces, adding the live music aspect to the show that is so quintessentially New Orleans. Jimmy Buffet also stopped by to perform. Here is the playlist with all of night one’s videos, as well as a recap from

Night two highlighted the Krewe of Tucks, a parade that was born out of a pub and was labeled ‘risque’ for many years but has endured on until today. The night explored the history of New Orleans cemeteries and traditional New Orleans architecture, highlighting the rich culture ever-present in the city. Viewers were greeted by guest Lagasse, and learned how to make daiquiris, a classic New Orleans cocktail, from local bartenders. Here is the playlist of night two’s videos, as well as a recap from

Night three, the finale, focused on even more of the Krewes, such as Bacchus and Orpheus. They also highlighted more of the traditions of Carnival season, such as the tradition of Rex, wherein someone dressed as royalty sits atop a regal float on Fat Tuesday. They also highlighted Zulu, a Creole culture that has a large influence on the city of New Orleans today. Here is the playlist of night three’s videos, as well as a recap from

While the true spirit and fervor of Mardi Gras cannot be conveyed through a computer screen, “Mardi Gras for All Y’all” certainly highlighted what makes Mardi Gras so special, and gave a sense of normalcy during COVID-19. 

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