Posted January 29, 2021 at 1:34 PM by Amanda Frentz
**NEW Details Announced**
New Orleans City Park Fundraiser "Floats in the Oaks"
As New Orleanians, we know parades may be canceled, but Mardi Gras isn’t.
Rob DeViney, Captain of the Krewe of Argus and Chief Operating Officer of New Orleans City Park, and City Park staff first began discussing the possibility of a drive-through Mardi Gras themed fundraiser soon after Mayor Cantrell’s call for alternative ideas to the traditional Mardi Gras parades canceled this year due to the pandemic.
‘Floats in the Oaks’ is a once in a lifetime opportunity for visitors to view iconic floats from various Mardi Gras krewes all in one place and it will give our region the opportunity to experience a part of Mardi Gras during this historic year. Families can safely participate in a parade-type event, by viewing a stationery parade with floats and entertainment from their cars, while also supporting City Park. View floats from your favorite krewes with over 40 floats, see flambeauxs, experience live entertainment along the route (done safely with pandemic precautions taken), see light installations, mambo to Mardi Gras music and more! We invite participants to wear Mardi Gras costumes and decorate their cars.
Participate in the "reverse throw'': Guests are encouraged to bring beads from their home and throw them from their car at the bullseye or at the Bacca-Whoppa. All beads will be donated to our Floats in the Oaks community partner St. Michael School.
Elements of Celebration in the Oaks will appear in Floats in the Oaks: Eli the Pink Elephant: this piece was originally on a Bards of Bohemia Captain’s Float, Victoria the Unicorn: this piece was originally a horse and was on a Caesar Captain's Float, The New Orleans Scene, Crawfish Boil Tree, The Who Dat Tree, the thank you to health care workers, and the NEW RGB light installations turned from holiday colors to purple, green, and gold!
Participating krewes (in alphabetical order): Alla, Athena, Argus, Babylon, Bacchus, Carrollton, Centurions, Choctaw, Druids, Endymion, Freret, Hermes, Iris, King Arthur, Krewe D'etat, Krewe du Vieux, the Lieutenant Governor, Mid City, Morpheus, Orpheus, Proteus, Pygmalion, Rex, Sparta, Thoth, Tucks, the US Coast Guard, Zulu
Kern Studios, Rizzuto and Company, Ducote Designs, and PFJ Floats will assist with transportation of parade units.
‘Floats in the Oaks’ offers both daytime and nighttime ticket opportunities, as well as add-on experiences. All floats will be lighted at night. Guests can order a Park Parade Pack to enjoy Mardi Gras snacks while experiencing the driving tour or the Grandstand Experience in Carousel Gardens, where guests can be the “Grand Marshal'' as they travel through the iconic oaks aboard the City Park Train, capture a special moment with a photo op on a real Mardi Gras float, roast a hot dog over an open fire pit, and enjoy Carnival favorites such as king cake and cotton candy. Masks and social distancing between families will be required and COVID safety protocols will be in place.
Quote from Arthur Hardy 'Mister Mardi Gras': "The Floats in the Oaks project is a first in the history of Mardi Gras; an assemblage of Mardi Gras floats from multiple krewes in one place where they can be enjoyed safely by locals and visitors during COVID. The 2021 Carnival season is the first since 1945 where no Mardi Gras parades will roll anywhere in the region. Parades in New Orleans have been affected in several years since the first Comus parade rolled in 1857: Civil War 1862-1865, Political unrest 1875, WWI 1927-1918, WWII 1942-1946, Korean War canceled most parades, Police Strike 1979 cancelled 12 New Orleans parades, while 13 moved to Kenner, Slidell, and Gretna."
Quote from City Park: “We are thrilled to hear so many people are interested in such a fundraiser to support City Park. It made us even more excited to eventually announce this event knowing the public supported it. City Park is looking forward to bringing a little bit of Mardi Gras to the people of the area, all while doing so safely. City Park will use the funds raised to maintain and operate the 1,300 acres,” says Rob DeViney, COO, “so everyone in our community can continue to enjoy the Park”.
The COVID-19 pandemic has financially impacted City Park significantly with the closure of revenue generating facilities, which makeup 90% 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. The Park has been a place of respite for our community and the City Park staff will continue to creatively alter its operations to ensure the Park remains a clean and beautiful resource. City Park has, whenever possible, worked with local businesses to build this event.
Quote from Rex: “The Rex Organization salutes City Park’s leadership and board for having the vision to bring this wonderful idea to life so that New Orleanians and visitors alike can safely enjoy some Carnival spirit in this unique year,” said Rex Official James J. Reiss, III. Reiss continued, “The Rex Organization is proud to honor its special connection to City Park as personified by Beau Bassich, a Marine Corp veteran in World War II who was the longtime volunteer leader of City Park and who served as Rex, the King of Carnival, in 1989.”
Thursday, February 4th through Sunday, February 14th
Weekdays 5pm - 10pm and Weekends 1pm - 10pm
Tickets for ‘Floats in the Oaks’ and Add-On experiences are limited and all tickets must be purchased in advance and online only.
-Saturday - Sunday: 1 pm to 5 pm - $10 per car
-Monday - Sunday: 5pm to 10 pm - $20 per car
-Grandstand Experience Add-On - $15 per person (3 years and under do not need a ticket)
-Park Parade Pack - $12 (pack made for 2 people)
City Park has created exclusive hours for bike riders: $5/bike, Saturday 2/6 and 2/13 from 11am to noon. Guests on bikes must wear face coverings at all times, must only attend with members of their own household unless riding at least 6' away from another rider at all times (even in line), and riders may not stop along the route or leave their bike at any time.
Event address: 2 Freidrichs Avenue, New Orleans LA 70124
Tickets on sale now: neworleanscitypark.com/floats-in-the-oaks
The ‘Floats in the Oaks’ route is 1.3 miles long spanning Palm Drive and Roosevelt Mall. During the set-up and duration of the event, Roosevelt Mall will be closed to the public. Cars will enter Floats in the Oaks off Wisner on to the Festival Grounds track to line up to enter the event. During the active time of the event, the Festival Grounds will be closed. Vehicle height cannot exceed 10 feet. No limos, mini-buses, or pedestrians are allowed on the route. Guests participating in the drive through event in vehicles must wear seatbelts.