Carnival krewes are taking evasive action after New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s recent statement saying she’s not ruling out canceling Mardi Gras 2021.
No floats, no throws, no permits, nowhere to pee — nothing will stop revelers from rolling, even the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inspired by recent “Don’t Rush Challenge” video montages and Liquid Motion Zoom classes, a women’s walking krewe made its unofficial, socially distanced debut with an afternoon test run of what the “new” Mardi Gras might look like in 2021.
The new Krewe of Exodus is ready to get out and about. Krewe members put on their gear, grabbed props, loaded up their playlists, and took a ride in personal vehicles, making sure they each stay Sewerage & Water Board flooding averages apart.
With sunroofs open, windows down, and local favorites like Mr. Okra and The Special Man as well as Top-40 stars such as Cardi B and Beyonce blaring, the krewe caught the first neighborhood by surprise, pausing a variety of “new normal” activities – yard work, bike riding, driveway drinking, semi-naked lounging.
The imposed “parade-goers” saw cars come out of nowhere with props dancing out of sunroofs in sync to lyrics like “make me lose my breath” and women with wigs, full-on glitter, makeup, and energy that’s seemingly been pent up longer than the city’s been handling the Hard Rock, waving out windows and dancing.
A few of the krewe, influenced by hashtags on the Instagram of the Awakenings Pole and Aerial fitness studio, carried handmade signs.
“The show must go on.”
“Cancel LaToya, not the Gras.”
“Happy Tardy Gras!”
While the “Big Bang” kind of moment caused a lot of confusion and shock among onlookers, most showed excitement for something so unexpected.
“Most people passing by just say ‘hi’ or ‘I like your garden,'” resident Jeff Eason said. “These people said, ‘Life will find a way.’ I’ve always wanted to say that in a situation.”
Though traditional throws may be banned, the krewe’s innovative signature item has been extremely well-received as the women tossed Venmo deposits to the crowds.
“We fully expect ‘Throw us some Venmo’ to be the chant for Mardi Gras 2021 and beyond,” krewe member Melanie Melasky said. “Why spend tons of money on cheap beads that will find their way into the city’s non-drainage system when people would prefer money, especially now, ya’ know?”
However, some locals (really just neighborhood see you next Tuesday Karen McKarenson) are concerned the krewe will spread the virus through poor hygiene efforts and displays of happiness.
“Enjoyment has no place here,” McKarenson said. “We are in the midst of a pandemic. What don’t people understand? Stay home and keep all that ‘living’ junk to yourself.”
Cynthia Borroco, the krewe’s founder, said, “all our girls have tested positive for a lot of things, like CBD oil, hemp soap, juice balls, red gravy, and every flavor of Big Shot. But Corona? Only when ordering at Juan’s, darling.”
The krewe will continue practicing for Mardi Gras 2021 every week via zoom-by meetings in neighborhoods across New Orleans.