By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
Crowds were entertained by more than 50 floats and groups at the 64th Annual Mardi Gras Halloween Parade.
Floats dazzled and provided a warm atmosphere following the Pumpkin Safari theme as they paraded through downtown Clinton on Monday.
"We had a good turnout and perfect weather," Mardi Gras Committee Member Mary Jo Dopson said. "We've had some rough weather in the past, but the last few years it has just been beautiful."
In addition to the wide array of floats, area marching bands provided a soundtrack to the event. Participating bands included Clinton High School, Washington/Lyons Middle School, Camanche High School and Camanche Middle School.
Eagle Heights PTA took first place float for their gigantic jungle of pumpkins.
Prince of Peace second grade took second place for their creative float, featuring a giant orange elephant.
Third place went to local thrift store 2nd Time Around and fourth went to an interactive dancing display by Carousel Dance Studio.
Rastrelli's earned an honorable mention.
Alpaca's led the way in the large walking group awards, taking first, accompanied by the Clinton Humane Society. DM Services took second place.
Royalty from local high schools and colleges were featured in the parade. Ashford University's king and queen were selected as the Mardi Gras King and Queen. Senior royalty from the area were also featured, with Prairie Hills royalty crowned as the Senior Mardi Gras King and Queen.
The parade wrapped up with a visit from Santa Claus, but plans will soon be under way for next year's festivities. Mardi Gras committee members plan to meet next Wednesday to discuss the outcome of this year's event and the future of the 65th event. While the parade grows and improves each year, organizers make it a priority to make it the best it can be.
"We're always trying to make it perfect," Dopson said.