There are just weeks until Fat Tuesday. Now would normally be a busy time preparing for parades, attending balls with your krewe, and practicing those dance moves with your troupe.As we get closer to the day, the temptation to gather and have a regular Mardi Gras is getting harder to resist. Every day—multiple times a day, if we're being honest—we have to remind ourselves that this is not the time to let down our guard. So much of Mardi Gras is a community experience. That's why the imperative right now is to keep our communities healthy, so that we can have a Mardi Gras with all our friends and family again soon. Here are six things that you can enjoy while masked and socially distanced. We've even got a few ways you can bring some Mardi Gras into your own kitchen.
New Orleans Ice Cream Co.'s King Cake Ice Cream
First, bring some flavor to your freezer by having a bite of New Orleans Ice Cream's King Cake Ice Cream. A pint of this rich cinnamon ice cream packed full of king cake pieces and loaded with sprinkles will brighten your day and is available at local grocery stores, including Dorignac's, Rouses, and others. Look for the fleur-de-lis logo with the ice cream cone in the middle, and load up on other N'awlins flavors, such as Bananas Foster, Café Au Lait and Beignets, and Ponchatoula Strawberry. More info at neworleansicecream.com
St. Tammany's Celebrations
Next, St. Tammany's Carnival season features virtual, outdoor, and small-group activities. Just 40 minutes north of the French Quarter in Covington, residents are decorating their houses as floats with "Rollin' on the 3 Rivers." Some of the places showcased on their Facebook include Gone Phishin' in Flower Estates, Honey's House of Sunflowers, and a glowing beacon in the dark on N. Vermont, lit up with low-voltage LED lights, of which four are solar-powered. The Krewe of Mardi Paws tags along too, decorating dog houses. For more info, visit LouisianaNorthshore.com.
Parish's King Cake Coffee
For Mardi Gras in your morning mug, try a cup of king cake coffee from Parish Coffee. This delightful mix of cinnamon and sweetness is also available in decaf. Visit the Parish Coffee website and have this Carnival treat shipped to friends around the country. Other local flavors that will perk you up include Louisiana Cane Sugar, Louisiana Caramel Praline, and Mardi Gras Creme—all available in regular and decaf.More caffeinated information at parishcoffee.com.
Zulu Exhibition at Lakeside Mall
Is Zulu your favorite krewe? If so, then make your way over to Lakeside Shopping Center, where the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club will be providing a significant piece of Carnival history through the exhibition of their famed parade costumes, showing now through February 19. Seeing the garments up close will only deepen your admiration for the artistry put into every inch of each headdress.3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, (504) 835-8000, lakesideshopping.com.
Sazerac House Events
Sazerac House is hosting events, offering cocktail kits for curbside pickup, and holding workshops. In-person sessions include a Spirited Head Dress Workshop and a guided tasting titled "Drink & Learn: Carnival Traditions." Each session includes drinks, snacks, and materials. You can even bring home items that catch your eye from the design classes, so that you can perfect your look later. Visit SazeracHouse.com for complete details.
King Cake Hub
Finally, can't decide where to get your king cake? Swing over to the King Cake Hub,where you can choose from 65 different varieties of king cake from over a dozen bakeries, including Caluda's, Gambino's, and others. To help you with your "Quarnival," new options for curbside pickup and a partnership with DoorDash are available. While you enjoy at home, tune into their Mardi Gras TV channel on their website for entertainment, history, news, concerts, good conversation, and anything New Orleans.636 N. Broad St., kingcakehub.com