Decked out in decoration, homes in Spanish Town transformed for drive-by Mardi Gras event
BATON ROUGE – Decorations typically seen on floats are starting to pop up on homes in Spanish Town. This year, the historic neighborhood is hosting a Mardi Gras drive-by event.
“Our eyes were out in the roads when the floats go by, now the eyes are going to be coming from the roads and on the houses,” said Mary Jane Marcantel.
Marcantel is the Chairman of the Spanish Town Civic Association. After the announcement that the Spanish Town parade had to be canceled this year due to covid-19 concerns, she starting organizing a different kind of celebration.
“Each house is going to get a little ‘pretty in pink’ sign, which is the theme of the parade, with a little number on it because it is a friendly competition,” said Marcantel.
On February 13, the day the parade would have rolled, around 20 homeowners are going to have their houses decorated for people to drive-by, enjoy them, and vote for their fan favorite.
“I’m incredibly competitive so to say that I don’t want to win would be a mis-truth,” said Mary-Patricia Ray.
Ray, filling the void of no parade, hired a local artist to decorate the outside of her home. One of the pieces made includes a drawing of the cast of the 80’s film ‘Pretty in Pink.’
“We just put it up this morning. We’re a little behind some of our neighbors who have had them up for a week, but I think it’s worth the wait. It’s awesome,” said Ray.
There’s incentive other than the instant smile the decorations bring to those who walk by. The Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana will giving the first, second and third place winner a specially decorated wooden flamingo. The Civic Association will also award the first place winner $100, the second place winner $75 and the third place winner $50.
“[The flamingo] kind of gets more people’s attention than the money does,” Marcantel said laughing.
Though the real win is the neighborhood getting the chance to celebrate Mardi Gras in some form, Marcantel wants to make it clear that it will be covid safe.
“This is not about cultivating parties in the neighborhood. We will have our officers who work in the neighborhood to ensure that those covid regulations are adhered to,” said Marcantel.
Residents have until Feb. 8 to decorate their home.
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