COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Mardi Gras events have been canceled this year, but some locals made it their business to keep the tradition going here in Columbus.
The tradition of going to New Orleans for parades and parties has been canceled this year. Instead, Mardi Gras lovers decided to bring that New Orleans love to Mississippi in what they like to call Yardi Gras.
“My husband and I normally go to New Orleans every year for Mardi Gras and this year with the pandemic all the parades were canceled so we decided that if we couldn’t go to the parade we would bring the parades to us,” said coordinator Lisa Elmore.
No New Orleans means no problem; was the mindset of these Mardi Gras lovers. They formed Yardi Gras. A parade was hosted from 2-6 p.m. for those who want to get into the Mardi Gras spirit.
“I thought it was a great way for us to come together as a community and do something that’s not all political that’s not at all controversial that’s bringing people together rather than separating them apart,” said participant Wade Leonard.
Lisa Elmore brought the idea up to some neighbors, and nearly 40 families signed on to participate.
“I think we all just needed something to look forward to and to be happy about to join in just for fun,” said Elmore
Families had their own way of showing their spirit.
“We already have Mardi Gras flags every person from New Orleans is just issued one of those at birth then, of course, the beads you always have a box of beads at your house you never know when you’re going to need them you never know when you’re going to throw a party,” said New Orleans native Colin Krieger.
Krieger felt that Yardi Gras would be good for community engagement and says being a part of the event made it feel like home for him.
“I think with a little more notice we can involve charities and really throw a big party next year. This community is amazing like it really comes together when you wouldn’t expect it to see this many people 30 plus families wanting to throw a party it kind of makes me feel a little homesick,” said Krieger.
Families also want to keep the tradition strong.
“We also have king cake so if you get the baby though you got to bring the king cake back next year,” said participant Eric Ford.
Elmore says that this is an event she wants to continue for years to come and try and even try spreading it through the surrounding areas.