Mardi Gras hits Hale County

Published 10:21 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GREENSBORO – It was “Fat Tuesday” at Colonial Haven Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center yesterday afternoon. The residents and staff had a Mardi Gras celebration filled with partying, parades, pageantry and excess.

Though Mardi Gras is celebrated in Roman Catholic countries worldwide, no one does it quite like New Orleans native Wendy Gagliano, who serves as the marketing director at Greensboro’s Colonial Haven.

“This is an event that I have celebrated for many years being from New Orleans and all,” she said.

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“I wanted to bring a little New Orleans to Colonial Haven by celebrating Mardi Gras, not only with the staff, but the residents as well.”

Willie Chandler and Palace Hill were crowned the first ever Mardi Gras King and Queen. Mardi Gras spectators, friends and family of residents, lined the halls of Colonial Haven to catch beads tossed by costumed people on the parade route.

After the parade, the residents had the traditional King Cake, Moon Pies and green punch.

Students from Hale County High School and the Hale County Technical School volunteered their afternoon to help with the parade.

“Without these kids this wouldn’t have been possible,” Gagliano said.

Wayne Cole, Colonial Haven administrator, said for everyone to be ready, that next year’s Mardi Gras parade will be even bigger and better than this year.

“I thought this was a great idea,” Cole said. “We were a little apprehensive at first, but once everyone got together and gave it their best, it really turned out well.”