March 21, 2014
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A shopping cart Mardi Gras parade for youngsters gets underway at Winn-Dixie store No. 1426 in Algiers, La. ​

Mardi Gras is a festival celebrated with a series of Carnival events and parades throughout the New Orleans region. Since Jan. 6, the celebration of Epiphany, the region has been gearing up for the season. Many Winn-Dixie stores hosted fun festivities to honor the tradition.

Winn-Dixie Grocery Gras, an in-store parade, was one of the featured events at store no. 1426 in Algiers, LA. During Grocery Gras, local elementary school students paraded down the aisles with purple, green and gold decorated grocery carts while a high school band performed and marched to lively music.

“New Orleans is the only place you would see a parade in a grocery store,” said Winn-Dixie customer Geovanni Velasquez. “This iswhy I love shopping at Winn-Dixie.”

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

“It was a pleasure working with Winn-Dixie for this series of Mardi Gras Guide signings,” he said. “Mardi Gras is a fun tradition and a big part of our culture in South Louisiana. I am happy to share my experiences with Winn-Dixie’s customers.”

Various stores also held king cake workshops with area elementary schools. Store directors and bakery associates shared the history of Mardi Gras with students, who then personally decorated mini king to take home.

On Mardi Gras day, the New Orleans region team took part in the Krewe of Argus parade in Metairie, La. The local team decked out in festive gear and paraded through the community with customized Winn-Dixie “throws” including a stuffed “WD-branded” cow and limited edition Mardi Gras doubloons with special discounts printed on them.

New Orleans area Winn-Dixie stores now are collecting unwanted Mardi Gras beads from customers to donate to the Greater New Orleans ARC, an organization that helps developmentally disabled people. Individuals in the program will sort, repair and resell the beads to local Mardi Gras krewes to raise money for their organization.

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