February 14, 2014
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Customers watch an indoor Mardi Gras parade in a New Orleans-area Winn-Dixie store.​

Arthur Hardy, the man who wrote the book on all things Mardi Gras, has teamed up with Winn-Dixie stores in the New Orleans area.

In a city known for its rich culture and local personalities, Hardy is known locally as the Mardi Gras expert. Hardy publishes a popular annual guide that includes Mardi Gras facts, photos, parade routes and more. His award-winning magazine has become a Mardi Gras staple that locals and die-hard carnival fans reference for schedules and more every year.

For two weeks, Hardy toured six different Winn-Dixie locations in Districts 4 and 5 to sign his guide and pose for photos with customers. The tour began Feb. 8 and finished up on Feb. 15 at store no. 1502 in Slidell, La., successfully building up the hype of carnival season, which goes on through Mardi Gras day on March 4.

In addition to meeting Hardy, customers visiting stores during the tour could enter to win a VIP Mardi Gras Prize package, consisting of Winn-Dixie party platters, local snacks, king cake and drinks. Winn-Dixie store No. 1430 had a radio remote in partnership with The Coca Cola Company, and store No. 1426 wrapped up its grand opening events with ‘Grocery Gras,’ a Mardi Gras-themed celebration featuring Hardy, area schools, festive samples, live entertainment, crafts with a renowned local artist, an in-store parade and more.

“It was a pleasure working with Winn-Dixie for this series of Mardi Gras Guidesignings,” said Hardy. “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.”

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