Local neighborhood district hosts first Mardi Gras celebration

By Elizabeth Hinz

Fairmount Park was green, gold and purple for its first neighborhood Mardi Gras Parade.
When the brass band began to march down Fifth Avenue, a crowd of people filled the street and began to dance and sing. Paraders could be seen wearing colorful wigs, decorative masks, costumes and even stilts.
Cars decorated like floats followed the crowd and drivers waved as they passed by onlookers.
Chairperson of the FairMOUNTI Gras Parade, Kim Worley, said the parade was put together in 30 days.
“It really was a last-minute decision,” said Worley. “We didn’t know if we were going to have enough volunteers available, but as it turns out we had a lot of people who just came out of the woodworks to have a good time!”
For a little over a mile and a half, several colorful floats and people in costumes paraded through the streets, while residents caught candy and beads as they passed by.
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“I danced and I screamed a lot, and I sang just like everybody else!” said Worley.
Fairmount resident, Martin Dahl, said he watched the parade because he likes to stay involved with neighborhood events.
“It’s just a fun goofy neighborhood thing,” Dahl said. “Anything the neighborhood does, we’ll be out there.”
Worley said this is the first neighborhood Mardi Gras event of many. Next year, she hopes to implement a costume ball and crawfish boil along with the parade to make it a weekend celebration, rather than just a parade itself.
“Fairmount is growing very very quickly,” said Worley. “It’s important to us to welcome our new neighbors and celebrate our uniqueness of our neighborhood, but also not to lose that uniqueness.” 
Fairmount’s next parade will be the annual Home Tour Parade in May. To learn more about upcoming events in Fairmount, you can visit the Fairmount National Historic District Facebook page.