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HOW TO CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS 2021 IN NEW ORLEANS
How to Celebrate Safely
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 9:42 AM by Lauren Saizan
Mardi Gras in New Orleans typically means dancing in the streets, standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers and watching one parade after another roll by while slowly becoming a human bead tree. But Mardi Gras 2021 will be different.
Parades won’t roll. There will be no large crowds or events. The health and safety of our community is a priority, but that doesn’t mean Mardi Gras is cancelled.
In the days leading up to February 16, expect the king cakes to flow in abundance and krewes to find new ways to keep the Mardi Gras spirit alive. If you find yourself in New Orleans, mask up and please remain mindful of the Phased Reopening guidelines our city is under, but remember that no one does Mardi Gras like New Orleans. Here’s how to celebrate.
Start with King Cake on January 6
Carnival season begins on January 6, which means that the wait for king cake is officially over. Traditionally made with sweet brioche dough, cinnamon filling and a glazed icing finish, the first slice of king cake is the official marker of the Mardi Gras season. Bakeries in New Orleans have been making them for years in both traditional and eccentric varieties (savory crawfish king cake, anyone?). If you’re in town, swing by King Cake Hub to check out over 60 local varieties. Learn more about New Orleans’ Best King Cakes here, many of which are available for nationwide shipping.
Check out what the krewes are doing
Though krewes can’t roll this Mardi Gras season, many are adapting to celebrate in new, socially distant ways. See the list below for how various krewes are marking the year:
• Krewe of Joan of Arc: Get your tickets for a live performance drive-by event on January 6, which will feature storytelling inspired by Joan’s life and legacy.
• Funky Uptown Krewe: Participate in a socially distant scavenger hunt beginning on January 6 from Funky Uptown Krewe. Their coveted throw, the hand-painted record, will be scattered along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line hiding in plain sight. Check out their Instagram for clues.
• Krewe of Bacchus: One of the most anticipated superkrewes of the Mardi Gras season, the Krewe of Bacchus couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let 2021 go by without creating a free, interactive app with virtual games and real-life prizes. Join a “mini parade” for the chance to capture digital throws redeemable for doubloons, bicycles and more. Search the app store for the Throw Me Something Bacchus! app once it goes live on January 6.
• Krewe of Muses: Support local businesses along the Muses parade route while entering a contest to win a one-of-a-kind, special edition, 2021 Muses shoe. Play the "Stilotto" from January 20-February 10 by visiting the businesses listed here and enter during your visit.
• Krewe of House Floats: Krewe of House Floats is a new, non-traditional krewe created specifically for the times we’re living in. It calls on members in neighborhoods all across the city to transform the exterior of their houses into a float, creating an opportunity for spectators to drive on by and remain safe from others. Check here for a map of the houses and create your own parade with the Krewe of House Floats this Carnival season.
Attend a cocktail tasting or museum, and stay in a hotel
Check out the following Mardi Gras-themed events below.
• Sazerac House: Get into the Mardi Gras spirit with festive events from Sazerac House. Throughout February, both in-person and virtual workshops will be taking place. Drink and learn about Carnival traditions, participate in a mask-making workshop or watch a cocktail demonstration from home.
• Cochon Butcher: Dine in at Cochon Butcher from January 6-February 17 as they celebrate Carnival around the world. Each week, a new country will be celebrated with a special small plates menu, taking us from Germany to Brazil to Venice and ending right at home. Takeout and delivery is also available.
• Paradigm Gardens: Enjoy a Mardi Gras celebration with food and music this February at Paradigm Gardens. Your ticket includes a five-course Carnival-themed meal, as well as performances from K.O.B. Brass Band, DJ Kash and the Black Flame Hunter Mardi Gras Indians. The 21+ event will be outdoors and socially distant, with dates spanning February 5-13. All are encouraged to wear a costume.
• Mardi Gras World: Stop by Mardi Gras World to get a behind-the-scenes look at float building and decorating process that brings much of the season to life. Open daily for tours, this should top your list of things to do during the season.
• Backstreet Cultural Museum: To learn about the Mardi Gras Indian tradition, visit the Backstreet Cultural Museum. Rich with artifacts, including hand-beaded suits and photography, this off-the-beaten-path museum is worth the visit.
• JAMNOLA: JAMNOLA is a permanent pop-up celebrating the music, art and culture of New Orleans brought to life by 20+ local artists. Exhibits include films on Mardi Gras traditions, murals representing the faces of New Orleans, a life-size interactive crawfish boil pot and more. Visit from January 22-February 21 for new installations celebrating Mardi Gras.
• If you plan on staying in New Orleans this Mardi Gras season, be sure to take advantage of our hotel and attraction deals. With up to 20% off the best available room rate, discounts on swamp tours and free drinks, there's plenty of reasons to stay in NOLA this January and February.
Search for that special Carnival food
Mardi Gras isn’t only about the parades and parties –food is at the core of every celebration. Our restaurants are open and ready to serve you at a table or provide takeout to your home. Copeland’s of New Orleans has “Feed Your Krewe” food packages and a Mardi Gras King Cake Cheesecake on the menu these next few weeks. Reginelli’s is bringing back their Cajun Crawfish Pizza, King Cake Cocktails and King Cake Bread Pudding. Not in New Orleans? Goldbelly will ship you the same po-boy you’d be eating in between parades on Endymion Saturday (Parkway’s roast beef, obviously). Oh, and we can’t forget about Popeye’s. You can’t let a Mardi Gras season go by without driving through a Popeye’s.
Experience Mardi Gras from home
Enjoy Mardi Gras festivities from the comfort and safety of your home with a virtual cooking class from New Orleans School of Cooking. New this year is Gracious Bakery’s King Cake Kit, which provides a dry mix for you to bake a king cake in your own home. And finally, be sure to tune into “Mardi Gras for Y’all,” a three-night, four-and-a-half-hour spectacle featuring celebrity interviews, musical performances and narratives on the history of Mardi Gras. Watch the celebrations here on February 12, 13 and 14.
Commander's Palace National Wine & Cheese Show is bringing a Mardi Gras Extravaganza to homes across the country on February 10. Click here to learn more and get tickets to this festive virtual event.
Enter to win a curated prize package featuring items from Zapp’s Potato Chips along with local vendors valued at $500 each with our sweepstakes here. To book your New Orleans vacation visit http://bit.ly/3ixZZRQ or call Tyus Tours & Travel at 866-547-5362.
New CDC US Entry Requirement
On Jan. 12, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expanded the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States. This requirement will go into effect on Jan. 26, 2021.
According to the CDC, air passengers entering the U.S. will be required to present documentation of a negative COVID-19 viral test (called a Qualifying Test) conducted within the 3 days before their flight to the U.S. departs.
• Documentation should be for a viral test as approved or authorized by the relevant national authority.
• Test results must state: Negative, SARS-CoV2 RNA Not Detected, SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Not Detected, or COVID-19 Not Detected.
• Documentation may be paper or electronic copy and must include the name and contact information for the laboratory or healthcare personnel who performed the test.
• Test results may be required to be shown again upon landing.
Alternatively, passengers may provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 with documentation of test results conducted during the three months preceding the flight’s departure from a foreign country.
• Test results must state: Positive, SARS-CoV2 RNA Detected, SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Detected, or COVID-19 Detected. Invalid will not be accepted.
• Additionally, a letter from a licensed health professional stating that the passenger has been cleared for travel (called Documentation of Recovery).
Finally, all airline passengers will be required to present a simple CDC attestation form to the airline for collection prior to boarding. That form can be found here for reference.
For more information, you may reference the FAQs on the CDC website, which can be found here.
21 Ways To Kick Off 2021 At Walt Disney World
Happy New Year! Walt Disney World Resort is ready to help you turn the page on 2020 right away and begin 2021 with magic. From new and classic attractions to culinary experiences to character interactions and more, here are 21 reasons to be excited about a visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth in early 2021:
1. Explore the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, Beginning Jan. 8 – Through Feb. 22, you are invited to an expansive collection of visual, performance and culinary arts throughout the park.
2. Gaze Upon the Re-imagined Entrance Fountain at EPCOT – The new water feature in front of Spaceship Earth hearkens back to the park’s origins and highlights a greener, more open and welcoming experience as you enter the park. The fountain is the most recent milestone in the historic transformation of EPCOT now underway.
3. Step Inside the Cartoon World of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – You can go through the movie screen as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Engineer Goofy and Pluto take you on a trip through Runnamuck Park … where anything can happen!
4. Embark on a Star Wars Adventure in a Galaxy Far, Far Away – Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also home to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the immersive, award-winning land featuring two thrilling attractions: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
5. Check Out Cinderella Castle’s Royal Makeover – The treasured icon at the heart of Magic Kingdom Park now features bold, shimmering and regal enhancements befitting its royal status, making for a great photo with family and friends.
6. Experience Classic Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world,” Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain … the new year is a great time for you to reconnect with these classics loved by millions the world over.
7. Watch for New Residents on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Nigerian dwarf goats now play like kids at the warden’s outpost near the end of Kilimanjaro Safaris.
8. Bask in the Cuteness of Baby Animals – In addition to the Nigerian dwarf goats, you may catch a glimpse of some of the animals born in 2020 at Walt Disney World while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris, for example, you may spot young Masai giraffe now out on the savanna.
9. Celebrate the Magic of Nature in Pandora – The World of Avatar – At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can travel to the Valley of Mo’ara to hike among the floating mountains of Pandora and experience two awe-inspiring attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.
10. Find Disney Characters in New Places – From cavalcades to caravans to flotillas and even special “pop-up” appearances, you can discover favorite friends at all four theme parks and the occasional special surprise at Disney Resort hotels.
11. Hop from Park to Park – Beginning today, Guests who purchase a ticket or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day (with some new modifications).
12. Indulge in Sweet New Treats at Disney Springs – When visiting the shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World, you have plenty of new options to satisfy your sweet tooth, including newly opened Gideon’s Bakehouse and the forthcoming M&M’S store and Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew.
13. Pick Out the Perfect Post-Holiday Gift – Disney Springs is also the place where you will find a little something you may have missed on your holiday shopping list. From the massive World of Disney store to quaint boutiques and just about everything in between, Disney Springs is home to the latest Disney merchandise as well as on-trend accessories, apparel and gear from other top brands.
14. Return to Favorite Disney Restaurants – As part of the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, restaurants continue to return to operation across The Most Magical Place on Earth. Recent reopenings include The Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom and the character breakfast at Chef Mickey’s inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
15. Make Some Time to Relax Outdoors – Central Florida weather is often gorgeous in the early months of the year, and Walt Disney World offers special ways to enjoy some outdoor recreation, including golf and miniature golf, fishing expeditions, horseback riding and more.
16. Buzz Through the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, Blooming in March – Beginning March 3, you will find fresh cuisine, creative gardens and unforgettable topiaries as part of this annual festival.
17. Soak Up the Sun at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – After remaining closed for all of 2020 due to the pandemic, this wintry-themed water park is planning to reopen in March and celebrate its 25th season in splashy style.
18. Look for Some Fresh Pixie Dust at the Entrances to Walt Disney World – You can make some new memories as they pass these iconic gateways to The Most Magical Place on Earth, which are receiving a refreshed color palette complementing the recent Cinderella Castle makeover.
19. Add Extra Theme Park Magic to Vacations – Available to book beginning Jan. 5, 2021, Guests buying non-discounted four-night/three-day room and ticket packages at select Disney Resort hotels for arrivals most nights Jan. 8, 2021, through Sept. 25, 2021, will receive an additional two days of theme park tickets. For more information click here.
20. Florida Residents Can Take Advantage of a Special Ticket Offer – Beginning Jan. 4, 2021, the four-day Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket invites Floridians to visit any of the four Disney parks through June 18, 2021 (subject to blockout dates), for $199 (plus tax). For more details on this special offer, click here.
21. Get Excited for Even More Magic Later this Year – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the new family-friendly attraction coming to the France pavilion in EPCOT, will debut in 2021. And the new Cirque du Soleil show “Drawn to Life,” coming to Disney Springs, will be a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering. Stay tuned to Disney Travel News for more details about these experiences and other excitement happening around Walt Disney World in the future!
As a reminder, Walt Disney World continues to operate with enhanced health and safety policies so everyone can enjoy the magic responsibly. To manage attendance, Guests are required to have valid theme park admission and make a park reservation for each day of their visit through the Disney Park Pass system. Please visit Disneyworld.com/Updates for more information.
Happy New Year from all of us here at Walt Disney World. We hope to see you and your family real soon! To book your Disney vacation visit www.tyustours.com or call 866-547-5362.
Sandals and Beaches Resorts New Year Sale 2021
Cheers to a New Year!
Welcome the New Year and Celebrate with our Biggest Sale of the Year. Book a 6-night or more Sandals or Beaches Resort vacation during our New Year Sale and receive up to $750 Instant Savings and everyone in the room will receive a 30-minute massage, and Catamaran Cruise. Plus, take advantage of all our current promotions.
LAS VEGAS TELLS 2020 TO KISS OFF
In True Vegas Fashion: Imploding a 2020 Sign to Ring in the New Year
New Year’s Eve celebrations will look different this year, with many of Las Vegas’ well-known traditions on-hold. However, Vegas will still own the title of ‘America’s Party’ guaranteed to bring the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” to life, in real time.
On December 31, log on to www.VisitLasVegas.com – or Vegas’ Facebook, and YouTube channels – for a livestream countdown to midnight for an Only Vegas celebration, complete with a live DJ and epic sights that cannot be missed. While the physical event is not open to the public, guests from around the world can celebrate virtually. Las Vegas enthusiasts can even share what they are most looking forward to in the new year for a chance to win trips to the destination in 2021.
When the countdown clock strikes zero, get ready for what Vegas is well known for: a blast. Experience a burst of color and sound as 2020 is literally blown away and 2021 is ushered in. A 2020 sign will be lit up – and then blown up – in spectacular fashion. A DJ will then begin the new year with a celebration of music when a massive LED lit 2021 sign is revealed along with an eruption of confetti, streamers and fireworks. The 12-15-minute colorful pyrotechnic spectacular is the perfect way to ring in a much-anticipated new year.
“We know that celebrating New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas is a bucket list item and a long-held tradition,” said Steve Hill, president/CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “Although many visitors from around the country and the world will not be able to join us in person to turn the calendar, this virtual event will allow us to share our enthusiasm and excitement with Vegas fans near and far as we look toward a brighter 2021.”
No matter where they may be, visitors will still be able to celebrate safely and virtually from their own homes with hundreds of thousands of other revelers the Only Vegas way.
We hope visitors near and far will join us as we raise a glass to welcome 2021 with a bang. To book your 2021 Las Vegas vacation visit http://bit.ly/34CWiEO or call Tyus Tours and Travel at 866-547-5362.
Nigerian Dwarf Goats Welcomed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom as New Kids on the Safari
Since the opening of the park in 1998, Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park has continued to grow and evolve, bringing new encounters to the savanna. Today, that evolution continues as we introduce a new species of Nigerian dwarf goats to the experience.
As Guests wrap up their journey on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve they’ll see a warden’s outpost where these miniature West African goats chase, climb and play like kids. But don’t let their size fool you, they are fully grown adults.
Originally from Nigeria, the goats are considered to be of high value because of the high protein milk they provide, which is also very sweet. By being able to help support the village with the goat milk products, there is less of a need for people to rely on wildlife, which in turn helps keep wildlife and their habitats protected. With the Warden’s outpost being on the edge of the reserve, this shared land is managed in a way that helps protect local wildlife so both the animals and humans can live near each other in harmony.
On your next visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, be sure to hop aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris to witness these fun, playful goats yourself! And if you think goats are the G.O.A.T. (the greatest of all time!), you’ll be happy to hear that the Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch has reopened for up-close visits with goats and other animals.
Window Displays Bring Holiday Magic to Walt Disney World Resorts
One favorite thing to do during the holiday season at Walt Disney World Resort is gaze at the elaborate store window displays, especially along Main Street, U.S.A., in Magic Kingdom Park and World of Disney at Disney Springs.
For our merchandise presentation team, the holiday season is the culmination of almost a year of work – they start planning for the holidays in January! They start with the concept phase, talking with the product and merchandise development team that gives them a glimpse of what the next season will bring. Then in summertime, they start working on the details of the design from ornaments, ribbons and everything that will be used to create their magic. Talk about Christmas in July, right?
As soon as Halloween ends, the teams start to work on the actual install of the window displays. At that point, they can finally share with our Guests what they have worked on for the whole year.
Installing these window displays is no small task. There are around 30 windows on Main Street, U.S.A., and each one receives unique décor and theming. At the Emporium, for example, the team retells the story of the shop’s original proprietor, Osium Osh Popham, by re-creating how the windows would have looked at the turn of the 20th century.
At Disney Springs, the team ensures all of the displays continue the story of World of Disney, which is an artists’ loft. They “merried” the product and décor to the theming of the store, as well.
Check out this video to see how cast members bring these windows to life! Holiday Window Display Installation | Walt Disney World Resort.
To book your Disney Vacation visit http://bit.ly/36PaM2P or call Tyus Tours and Travel at 866-547-5362.
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