Spicing up life: A couple’s annual Mardi Gras mission to bring the Big Easy to Middle Tennessee

CNN Newsource Pristine Villarreal

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WTVF) — It’s Fat Tuesday. Even though New Orleans is celebrating Mardi Gras 500 miles away, Middle Tennessee is increasingly getting into the spirit of the day. You’ll be hard-pressed to find locals more in the spirit than a couple in Inglewood. They’re sharing that joy with everyone.

“The aromas that come off of there are just magical,” said Patrick Murphy, leaning over a pot on the stove.

Something’s cooking on Greenfield Avenue in Inglewood — something that smells good.

“This is the start to red beans and rice,” Patrick said, dipping his spoon into the pot. “These have about three hours of cooking left in them. I always make chicken andouille. It’s andouille sausage, chicken, okra.”

Holly and Patrick Murphy love the time spent in the kitchen, working with those flavors that take Holly back to the city where she grew up.

“It’s the most welcoming place,” Holly said, thinking about New Orleans. “The food is spicy. The life is spicy.”

AD “What I like most about New Orleans is everything is a celebration, and then you die, and that’s a celebration too!” Patrick added.

Around this time of year, Holly and Patrick bring a little New Orleans to their home. All around the house are bursts of purple, green, and gold with masks and beads decorating the rooms. Their love for all of this has only grown in recent years.

That first year of COVID was tough for them. They missed the people who make up their community.

“2021 came around and New Orleans itself canceled Mardi Gras,” Patrick said.

Then, Holly and Patrick got an idea from New Orleans. They turned the outside of their home into a house float. The house is decorated with flags and props, paying tribute to New Orleans.

“The two of us put effort into making this a happy place, a comfortable place,” Holly said.

The neighborhood loved it.

“I think that was a byproduct,” she laughed. “I don’t think we set out to do it for anybody but us!”

“I just kept upping the ante!” said Patrick.

“What’s your motto?” Holly asked.

“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” Patrick smiled.

Today, decorations that got to this level as a result of COVID isolation are a tradition on Greenfield Avenue. Holly and Patrick are happy to serve up a little New Orleans.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.


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