Kathy Bradshaw/Where Y'at Magazine

Mardi Gras Comes to City Park With “Floats in the Oaks”

15:00 January 28, 2021
By: Laurel Shimasaki

This year, the floats are parked, and you drive to them at Floats in the Oaks in City Park. The event is being billed as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to view iconic floats from various Mardi Gras krewes all in one place." It definitely will be a flip of the usual script.

"If you've seen one, you've seen them all," a neighbor once said, when talking about the list of upcoming parades that was posted in the elevator. But even Paul, jaded as he is, hasn't witnessed an inverse parade exactly like this.

A few of the krewes you can expect to see floats from are Rex, Bacchus, Zulu, Morpheus, Tucks, Femme Fatale, and Druids. City Park's website boasts that more krewes are joining the float fleet every day. Floats in the Oaks will open to the public from Thursday, February 4, through Sunday, February 14.

Tickets are already available for presale, and they're moving quickly. Rob DeViney, chief operating officer of City Park, told WGNO.com that in less than three hours after opening, the box office had already sold 10 percent of the available tickets. Plenty of passes remain (there were 23,000 slots to begin with), but just to be safe, as soon as you're ready to schedule your day, get your tickets here. On weekdays, you can get a pass that gives you entry from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and catch the floats lit up for the evening. Nighttime tickets are available on weekends as well—plus Saturday and Sunday have afternoon passes from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket prices range between $10 and $20.

As always, there are fine-print rules to keep in mind, but nothing that should stomp out the fun. Cap your car at eight people per vehicle, and no limos, bikes, mini-buses, or walk-through touring is allowed—apologies to you if you just bought a stretch Hummer as your regular ride. Like regular Mardi Gras parades, the event will go on, rain or shine, but you already know to come prepared this time of year.

Since its founding in 1854, City Park has served as a haven for people, plants, and wildlife. A lot of work and funds go into maintaining and operating over 1,300 acres of land. In a year without the usual events being booked at City Park, DeViney also told WGNO.com that he was excited at the prospect of this event as a fundraiser for the park's future. In a statement on the Floats in the Oaks website, they go into more detail, saying, "The COVID-19 pandemic has financially impacted City Park significantly with the closure of revenue-generating facilities, which make up 90 percent of the park's operating budget, such as weddings, catered events, and the amusement park. Floats in the Oaks will provide revenue to offset these financial losses." Luckily, it looks like this event will be just the success City Park needs.

For the guests, Floats in the Oaks offers a safe way to break out of your rut and see some Mardi Gras. Even without riders, Floats in the Oaks hopes you still dress up in full costume. Who knows, you might even consider decorating your car for the event.

2 Friederich Ave., (504) 482-4888, neworleanscitypark.com/floats-in-the-oaks

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