Today is Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Here’s what you need to know:

Good morning, 

Although the annual Mardi Gras celebration has been canceled, the spirit is still alive in New Orleans.

Due to the pandemic, city officials canceled all parades and closed bars ahead of the celebration. Instead of letting the tradition die, people in New Orleans simply created a socially distanced version known as “Yardi Gras.”

This year, residents are transforming their front porches into themed parade floats to keep the celebration alive. The idea of “Yardi Gras” initially started as a social media joke when Megan Boudreaux tweeted that without parades, she would turn her house into a float. Now, more than 3,000 homes are a part of the COVID-19-friendly parade.

During non-pandemic times, more than 1 million people usually travel to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras city-wide celebration. The absence of the week of festivities will have over a $1 billion economic impact in the city of New Orleans.

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@maadilewellyn

ml203417@ohio.edu