Abeona and the mini-parade

After picking Nana Nancy (Paul’s Mom) up from the airport on Wednesday, we headed over to Abeona to help with a special activity: bringing the kids to the Good Shepherd Senior Center to join in on their yearly mini-parade and Jazz event put on by the Krewe of Thoth.
Thoth (think “toe” with a “th” on the end, like saying “most” with a lisp) rolls through our neighborhood and on the Sunday before Mardi Gras and stops to visit the local Senior Centers and Children’s hospital along the way. Before MG, they visit these locales to crown the King and Queen who will reign over the Carnival festivities.
So, the kids (just 2s and 3s… Nancy and I were the only volunteers on hand to help out so the toddlers stayed at the house with the babies) piled into wagons or strollers and the rest grabbed hold of loop in the walking rope. We headed down Oak Street to Carrollton over to Good Shepherd… about a 6 or 7 block walk.
The kids stopped briefly to listen to Charlie at the piano at Oak Street Cafe.
And said “hi” to Miss Norma, who owns the “Queen of the Ball” Snowball shop.

But finally, we got to the Center. We assembled together… kids to seniors and all in between… to wait for Thoth to show. An activities director got everyone singing and dancing — first songs that everyone knew (This Little Light of Mine, If You’re Happy and You Know It). Then they passed out song sheets with Mardi Gras themed lyrics based on Christmas carol melodies. Several of our kids got into the beat!
Abeona teachers brought corsages which the boys handed out to different women in the crowd, giving them hugs and sometimes kisses in the process.
No Anne Geddes picture could top how cute the kids were as they shyly handed out those flowers.
Everyone loved it — kids and seniors!
Thoth arrived with a Brass Band parading in…! Everyone sang Our Song (When the Saints Go Marching In) — even the kids knew when to cue in with the appropriate “Who Dat!”
While the music played, members of Thoth rolled through and handed out beads, doubloons, stuffed toys, and medallions.
The kids went in and out of being in complete shock over all the cool free stuff and throwing their hands up for the next round of beads.
Will, although he was in a bit of shock during the procession, has done nothing but talk about it since.
Everyone got thoroughly canvased with beads.
Finally, the procession receded and the King of Thoth stepped forward to announce this year’s King and Queen of the Good Shepherd. Last year’s court was recognized with applause.
Then this year’s court was announced and given the floor to promenade to their special thrones to watch the rest of the event.
The King and Queen were toasted by Thoth to bless their reign. Then more music, another procession of Thoth members passing beads and small throws, even more music (and very special solo performance of “Bill Bailey Don’t You Come Back Home” — a twist on an old standard — from one of the Center residents) and Thoth paraded out.
We had a fabulous time sharing this special event! For two Abeona teachers, it was their first ever Mardi Gras experience. It made me so happy to hear Emmy explain that THAT was what Mardi Gras was all about. Absolutely. Happy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras Rock
Mardi Gras swing and Mardi Gras ring.
Goin’ and blowin’ up bushels of fun
now that Mardi Gras has begun!
Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras Rock
Mardi Gras chime in Mardi Gras time.
Dancin’ and prancin’ in old Jackson Square
In the festive air!
What a bright time, it’s the right time
to rock the night away!
Mardi Gras time is a swell time
to go paradin’ every single day.
Get along people, pick up your feet,
Dancin’ around the clock!
Mix and mingle in a swingin’ beat,
That’s the Mardi Gras,
That’s the Mardi Gras,
That’s the Mardi Gras Rock!