Scouts go wild for Mardi Gras
Event draws 600 to Discovery Middle School.
Elise McDonald, 6, of Daisy girl scout troop 30087, dances at a Mardi Gras event, hosted by local girl scouts, inside Discovery Middle School in Granger (Tribune Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN)
On Saturday, the famous New Orleans street that has become synonymous with Mardi Gras seemed to take up residence inside the red brick school.
There were beads. There was food. Loud music. Costumes. Carnival games. And throngs and throngs of people — an estimated 600 Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and their families from both Indiana and Michigan.
Saturday’s Mardi Gras celebration was the creation of Girl Scout troop leader Kristi Parrott, who initially envisioned a party for her small troop.
But then, Parrott’s daughter Emily got involved.
“She said we should invite the other Girl Scout troops,” Parrot said, “and then she wanted to invite her brother, so we added the Cub Scouts as well.”
By the time they were done inviting, the Mardi Gras celebration included both scout organizations, along with their families, the people who purchased Girl Scout cookies and the community at large.
“Right now, with the economy the way it is, we wanted to have something where people could bring their family and have fun,” Parrott said.
For 13-year-old Lindsay Lockwood, that fun included carrying and occasionally beating a small bass drum throughout the Mardi Gras parade, where all of the troops decorated wagons in their own selected themes.
“I liked all the different ideas they had; the floats are so cute,” said Lindsay, a cadet Girl Scout who helped run one of the carnival games.
Collete Morris, 10, and Rebecca Brewer, 11, said their troop came in a “slumber party” theme, meaning the girls wore bath robes and shower caps. As part of the party, they spent time working at a craft table when they weren’t too busy collecting beads and candy.
“People just keep giving us beads,” Rebecca said, as the evidence hung from her neck. “I don’t know why.”
Joanne Brewer, Rebecca’s grandmother, said she was amazed by the activities available and the fun party atmosphere that the organizers created.
“I think this is phenomenal, I’m having a blast,” said Brewer, who had fashioned several strings of beads into a wig. “This is such a cool thing for these girls to see how to have fun in a safe atmosphere.”
But with so many fun activities on hand — and many of the girls and boys attending their first Mardi Gras party — some just said it was hard to pick a favorite.
“I think the bouncy house things are my favorite,” said 10-year-old Anastasia May. “But I’m not sure, because I haven’t done them yet.”
Staff writer Dave Stephens: