NEW IBERIA, La. — In an effort to keep the spirit of Mardi Gras alive after parades and celebrations were canceled this year, New Iberia residents celebrate the trend of "Yardi Gras" to honor the holiday.
After seeing photos of decorated homes in New Orleans, local artist and resident Paul Schexnayder decided to get organizing.
"Well, I saw that they were doing this in New Orleans, with the house floats and 'Yardi Gras,' so I said we could do that here."
Schexnayder pulled some of the ideas from an art walk the city of New Iberia hosts every year.
Houses along Main Street sign up to display art in their yards for people to enjoy as they drive or walk past. He thought, if New Orleans can do that with Mardi Gras, then New Iberia can certainly do it too.
"We've got at least 10 to 12 homes who are decorating their homes or front porches and we'll be putting out the map next week," he said.
The Bayards, are decorating enthusiasts themselves. They go big for every holiday.
So when it came to decorating for Mardi Gras, they knew exactly what to do.
"I started out by making three chandeliers, made out of beads," said homeowner Helen Bayard. "I put a mannequin in every window, because I happened to have them. I dressed them up in reveler gear, and i made three more chandeliers this year."
People from across Acadiana are encouraged to drive along the route and enjoy the decorations day or night.
Schexnayder tells KATC that people can expect something special on Fat Tuesday.
"I think on Mardi Gras Day, I think their will be some special things happening in front of the yards to all of the passersby."
And for locals who are considering joining in on the festivities, the Bayards have this to say.
"There is no reason to not do it. you can do it small or do it big, but everyone needs to celebrate," said Jason Bayard
The map, which will include the route through the neighborhood, will be posted on Facebook and be adjusted as more people sign up.
Those interested in participating in the decorating can visit the New Iberia Decorated page on Facebook.
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