Southdowns neighborhood celebrates first Mardi Gras parade since 2020
BATON ROUGE - It's been a long two years, but the Southdowns Mardi Gras parade is finally back and ready to roll.
On Friday, the neighborhood was covered with lights, and the streets were flooded with floats and dancers.
But before that happened, parade goer Gus Wilkes and his friends were getting ready in the parking lot of Glasgow Middle School.
"In a couple of hours, this place will be a cauldron of excitement and lights and music and dancing," Wilkes said Friday.
He wasn't the only person ready for the excitement. A nine-year-old girl was excited to see the floats and was hoping to catch up to 100 beads.
Ashley Avalos, a toy merchant from Missouri, was excited that the parade was taking place after a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic.
"We haven't been here due to COVID, and we came back this year, and everyone is turning out and enjoying the parades and enjoying the events that we have going on down here, and it's great," Avalos said.
The parade rolled through Southdowns neighborhood Friday night, starting at 7 p.m.
“We're so excited it's back. It's so great to be able to celebrate together as a community, so we're just trying to enjoy the moment,” homeowner Paul Douglas said.
All the neighbors seemed to be enjoying the moment, from the adults to the kids.
When asked what her favorite part of the night was, Douglas's daughter Carolyn immediately had her answer.
"Being with my family, and it feels really great to have it back. And as my sister Emma said, she just said that she can't remember when we had the parade because it was so long ago, and it's great to have it back," Carolyn explained.
What makes the Southdowns parade so unique is the fact that it rolls right past the front yards of many residents.
"I have a lot of kids, and if they need to go inside, they can go inside. It's the benefit of a neighborhood parade," Douglas said.
This year's theme was "It's Showtime," and the different krewes dressed up in various costumes to celebrate the occasion.
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