Soulard Mardi Gras 2021 continues celebration with virtual Cajun Cook-Off and Shoebox Parade

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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis is traditionally one of the biggest mardi gras celebrations outside of New Orleans, but most of this year’s events have been moved online to protect the public’s health and adhere to the latest federal, state, and local authorities.

“Yeah this is the jazzy side of the Market,” Spiritual Jazz Musician Raven Wolf Jennings said.  “This is a magical meditation concert every Saturday from 7 a.m. until 3:37 pm and I started in 2009.” 

In those eleven years, Jennings has seen his share of revelers taking in the yearly Mardi Gras traditions. 

However, Carnival in the age of COVID has changed for the health and safety of everyone. 

“In a normal year, this would have been the day for family and winter Carnival for kids and families,” Mack A. Bradley, President Mardi Gras Foundation, said.  “So, we wanted to do something that was family-friendly even though we can only do it virtually this year.” 

On Saturday, Fox 2’s own Blair Ledet helped kick off the virtual Shoebox Float Parade, showcasing local attractions and student made shoebox creations. 

The creators of Mardi Gras in Soulard are having to get creative with a Cajun Cook-Off and virtual gumbo instructions from top chefs. 

There’s a virtual wiener dog derby on Feb. 13. On Jan. 30, a scavenger hunt can be found around town. 

 “You get with your COVID social bubble in a car and go around to these various scavenger places and take pictures and put them on social media and you get to win prizes for that,” Bradley said. 

Bradley said the Feb. 6 drive-thru Taste of Soulard, now becomes a carryout drive-thru event, but the big parade that brings in big business won’t be in person this year. 

A normal year generates more than 20 million dollars in economic activity to the St. Louis region.   

Bradley said there has been some dis-information put out about what’s happening live in 2021. 

“We are having no mass gathering events of any kind on any day,” Bradley said. 

For more information on the virtual evevts this year, visit stlmardigras.org.

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