It's been a rough run for us living through a pandemic. The loss of loved ones, interests, hobbies, and activities have taken a toll on all of us. While we learned to navigate and keep ourselves and others healthy, it didn't help raise our moods or our spirits. One thing that was on hiatus last year was Mardi Gras in Louisiana. As a native Louisianan, I'm glad to see it come back to us. I also know it wasn't the first time that Mardi Gras didn't happen, but it was the first time in 42 years. 1979 was the last time that Carnival took a hiatus due to a police strike. 2021 was another year without Mardi Gras for a much different reason: a global pandemic.
Although we are still navigating a pandemic, 2022 has some silver linings as it marks the return of Mardi Gras with some updated routes and rules, of course. January 6th was Twelfth Night, the official start of Mardi Gras. Marching and riding groups across the lake and on the Northshore heralded the arrival of Carnival season by taking to the streets. The Phunny Phorty Phellows have already made their street car ride through New Orleans, and the St. John's Fools of Misrule took to the streets of Downtown Covington to bring in the start of Carnival. Some of us are welcoming the parade season, king cakes and crazy costumes with open arms and masked faces for a much-needed break from the new normal, with safety in mind.
If you would like to learn a little more about the history of Mardi Gras, some of the crazy happenings and customs, or if you would just like to spend another Mardi Gras at home and away from the crowds while still commemorating it, the St. Tammany Parish Library has you covered. If you would like to avoid a crowded gathering, you can always watch a parade on TV and have a small family party with food and drinks of a Cajun flair. You could also get the kids involved and have them make their own parade in the living room or backyard complete with throws from previous years’ parades and costumes, weather permitting. Another fun activity for the kids is to make shoebox floats. Decorating your house into a house float is yet still another option to avoid the crowds and gives others another safe way to celebrate too. Any way you celebrate Mardi Gras this year, Laissez les bon temps rouler and remember the king cake!