The French Quarter might be closed today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Mardi Gras like any other year. The whole point of Mardi Gras is for people to indulge in their guilty pleasures before Lent starts. Although it probably won’t feel the same, you don’t necessarily have to party hard to commemorate the holiday. For everyone missing out on that annual trip to NOLA every February, this article was created just for you!
Here is my social-distance friendly guide to celebrating Mardi Gras.
Decorate and dress the part
A big part of what makes the atmosphere of the Mardi Gras parade in NOLA so festive are the extravagant decorations. It really sets the tone for the experience. Make sure you have purple, green, and yellow beads, feathers, colorful masks, and maybe even your own mini float. Decorating can be fun when you do it with a group of people.
Bake or Buy a King Cake
King Cakes are a Mardi Gras essential. They usually have a plastic baby Jesus baked into them to signify the arrival of the three wise men/kings in Bethlehem who delivered gifts to the baby Jesus.
Cook or buy Takeout
If you were to celebrate Mardi Gras in NOLA, you’d probably be eating Creole food. Some of my favorite Chicago-based Creole restaurants are: Heaven on Seven, Soulé, Pappadeaux, Lowcountry, and 115 Bourbon Street. However, this is YOUR last day to indulge in whatever kind of food you want so feel free to eat wherever you please.
Have a small gathering
It’s okay to have a couple of people over to celebrate with. Just make sure you guys are practicing safety measures by purchasing hand sanitizer and requiring that everyone in attendance wear their masks–especially when they’re around the food. And by “masks,” I mean a face mask that covers your nose and mouth completely.
The most important step of all is to have fun.
By Kayla Crittle, University of Kentucky Alumni