Mardi Gras Comes to Canopy

One primary goal for the staff at Canopy Children’s Solutions is to help expose our kids to a variety of experiences and to help ensure they don’t miss out on some of the more common things we associate with being a kid—case in point—a parade. For children growing up along the Gulf Coast, Mardi Gras parades aren’t just a fun way to pass the time, but it is an essential part of their very culture. Growing up on the Gulf Coast, Recreation Coordinator Andrea Baldwin, and a great group of staff and volunteers, always try to make the Mardi Gras experience “magical” for the kids at CARES.

Mardi Gras also known as Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. While some of the kids may know the significance of the commencement, others view it as something out of this world.

“It gives kids the experience and we hope we can get more participation next year,” said Andrea.

Kids with BeadsAmongst the array of bright colors, music, bead throwing and candy catching, were the smiling, vibrant faces of the children anxiously awaiting what would come next during the annual Mardi Gras parade held on the Bagley CARES Campus March 3.

The parade grand marshal was the Grammy Award winner and legendary blues artist Bobby Rush, driven by Sheila Crowder who served as the parade coordinator for the Canopy Ladies’ Auxiliary. Volunteers from the Ladies Auxiliary, Jackson Preparatory School, the Impala Club, AmeriCorps NCCC and even some brightly-decorated Canopy staff and elementary day school students participated in the parade.

Bobby Rush and Alice Clarke visit CARESThe event closed with Bobby Rush’s inspirational message and iconic harmonica serenade proved to be the highlight of the day in that you can be anything you aspire to be. Mississippi Representative Alice Clarke also stopped by to say a few words of encouragement.

“I’m happy they threw candy, beads, and toys” said MW, age 6. “But I really liked when the man was singing.”

The youngsters were also treated to tasty king cake and other baked goodies compliments of the Ladies Auxiliary, bringing the festivities to an official close. With the mask making, bead catching, king cake consumption, and of course the parade, this event will leave its imprint on all those who attended. Mardi Gras 2017 at Children’s Canopy Solutions has had a very big favorable outcome and looking forward to seeing how it will expand to become bigger and better.

Mardi Gras Pup