Carnival season is in full swing, and with that comes all the best of the city – food, music, art and people. While we are still experiencing the lingering symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are relieved to be able to spend the season with friends and family.  Whether you’re on your front porch, in the driveway or on the neutral ground, it’s just a great feeling to be back in the Mardi Gras spirit and hear the sound of marching bands in the air.

In this issue, we ask a few notable New Orleanians, “What does Mardi Gras mean to you?” While the question is the same, their answers are as varied as their costumes, crafts and Carnival traditions. For me, Mardi Gras means getting dressed up in the hand-beaded corset that I have worked on all year with the marching krewe I am so honored to be a part of, the Dames de Perlage. We unveil our theme each Twelfth Night and get dolled up to strut, sashay and shimmy along the parade route. It’s so rewarding to see all of the faces, young and old, out along the parade route, smiling, singing and cutting loose, for an afternoon, at least. This year, we will be taking extra precautions within our own krewe to keep each other and the community as safe as possible, but we are excited nonetheless to be a part of the magic of Mardi Gras.

Additionally, we have some important resources for those that are looking to shore up their personal finances, a topic that has become increasingly timely due to pandemic expenses, inflation and planning for the future. Plus, we recognize “Heart Health” month with some tips on how tweaking your diet (Lent is just around the corner) can make a big impact on both your cardiac and overall health. And don’t forget out usual round-up of restaurant and bar news, recipes and much, much more.

It’s a jammed packed issue for a jammed packed month of celebrations, both big and small. Stay safe out there and enjoy the Mardi Gras ride!