John Georges won’t let a pandemic dampen the spirits of his hometown’s most famous event— the annual New Orleans Mardi Gras. In a normal year, hundreds of thousands of revelers from throughout world would be flocking to the city’s French Quarter and participating in a host of parades and celebrations.
But we’re in the middle of a pandemic and New Orleans, like most American cities, has been ravaged by the coronavirus. And like everywhere else throughout the country, large public gatherings have been cancelled.
In an effort to keep the traditions of New Orleans alive, Georges— the owner of NOLA.com and the state’s two largest newspapers The Times-Picayune and New Orleans Advocate— is teaming up with a group of locals to bring Mardi Gras to the world— virtually.
“Mardi Gras For All Y’all,” an elaborate $1.2 million online production, is being planned for February 12-14 and streaming free on the NOLA.com and theadvocate.com news websites, as well as YouTube and Facebook Live.
This virtual event will give global viewers an up-close, virtual experience, with 90 individual segments and 20 musical performances, floats, food, music, costumes and stories detailing the history, culture and traditions behind the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans.
A proclamation by the Rex Organization, known as the “king” of the Mardi Gras Parade and a local civic institution, honored Georges for his efforts noted his commitment to his home town.
“While the pandemic prevents our loyal subjects and visitors to our illustrious realm from celebrating Mardi Gras with our cherished customs this year, we commend you for your creative undertaking to keep the Carnival spirit alive for New Orleanians and those throughout the world who love New Orleans and its beloved Carnival celebration,” the proclamation said.
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