A local brass band plays music in the streets alongside a massive dragon float. People throw beads, cups and coins to parade-goers below. Everyone is decked out in head-to-toe costumes full of color and glitter. And you’ve never seen so many masks and feathers in your life. This is Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
Mardi Gras celebrations have already kicked off this year, but the big Fat Tuesday event lands on Feb. 16. For those wondering — no, New Orleans Mardi Gras isn't canceled — as the city is celebrating with the appropriate amount of social distancing. In lieu of the famous parades, "house floats" are starting to take shape, with locals literally transforming their houses into floats that spectators can visit. And you better believe that masks will be more creative than ever this year.
But for those missing the traditional revelry in the street or looking for a little history and inspiration behind this special event, here are past Mardi Gras photos that capture the essence of this community that truly knows how to have a good time (even during a pandemic).