March 16, 2015
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Girl Scouts participate in a Mardi Gras parade at Winn-Dixie No. 1588 in Destrehan, La.​

Mardi Gras is one of the most exciting festivals in the world. The festivities include a series of Carnival events and parades throughout the New Orleans region. Since Jan. 6, the celebration of Epiphany, the region began preparing for the excitement of the season with many events and parties to honor the tradition.

Winn-Dixie Grocery Gras features a series of Mardi Gras events, both in stores and in communities.

Stores throughout the region participated in events including “Find the Crown,” where store associates would hide Mardi Gras crowns every hour and awarded customers that would find them with free king cakes.

Many stores also partnered with local schools and organizations to host king cake decorating clinics. Store directors and bakery associates shared the history of Mardi Gras with students, who then personally decorated mini king cakes to take home. Some of the king cake decorating clinics have served as fundraisers for the schools.

One particular store went all out for Mardi Gras. Store No.1588 in Destrehan, Louisiana invited area elementary school students and local Girl Scout Troops to the store to decorate a super-sized king cake that was 10 feet by 4 feet. After the kids decorated the cake, they paraded down the aisles with a purple, green and gold decorated grocery cart while a high school band performed and marched.

“Our girls were so excited to participate in the Winn-Dixie Grocery Gras celebration,” said Carrie Thomas, development manager for Girl Scouts Louisiana East. “Winn-Dixie brings the culture of the city into their stores and that’s really important for our community.”

New Orleans Mardi Gras expert Arthur Hardy also made appearances at Winn-Dixie stores to sign his popular Mardi Gras guide for customers.

“I’ve been working with Winn-Dixie for years and it is my pleasure to partner for Mardi Gras Guide signings,” he said. “Mardi Gras is a fun tradition and a big part of our culture. I am happy to share my experiences with Winn-Dixie’s customers.”

The celebration culminated on Mardi Gras day when the New Orleans region team took part in the Krewe of Argus parade in Metairie, La. The local team dressed as cows, paying homage to “The Beef People” reputation,and paraded through the community with customized Winn-Dixie “throws,” including specialty Winn-Dixie breads with medallions and limited edition Mardi Gras doubloons with special discounts printed on them.

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