Excel by 5 celebrates Mardi Gras with toddlers

Excel by 5 in Biloxi wanted to make sure toddlers and their families had the same fun as any older child when it comes to celebrating Mardi Gras.

Excel by 5 is a certified early childhood community center that offers resources to children up to five years of age as a way to prepare them for school.

It is free to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. It’s also known for throwing special events for families.

This month, the special event was Mardi-Gras themed. The center had their own Mardi Gras party where 50 kids and their families attended.

Brittany Weidlich, mother of three, thought it was the perfect opportunity for her children to learn about tradition and meet the queen and king from the Gulf Coast Carnival Association. “They get to see the king and queen in person versus just on a float. I just think it’s more personable and then kind of understand that their parades and people dress up and they explain the colors of Mardi Gras, which I think is pretty cool, too.”

Even though the children were young and may not understand Mardi Gras traditions yet, they were still able to have fun and snag some beads. Excel by 5 Certification Manager Susan Hunt said, “We read a story to them, the parade day. They created a crown and they were either a king or queen and then they did a king cake. They made a king cake for their snack.”

After the event, King D’Iberville 2022 and Queen Ixolib of 2022 handed them a signed book and a bag full of more beads.

For Hunt, Mardi Gras is a big deal to her and goes back to her family roots, which is why she loves sharing Mardi Gras traditions with the youth. “Mardi Gras is a tradition in my family. So, I grew up with Mardi Gras. My grandfather started the Gulf Coast Carnival Association and was captain. My daddy was the captain for years. I’m on the president of the Coastal Mardi Gras Museum Board and I just think it’s very important for our children to understand the importance of purple, green, and gold and know the history of Mardi Gras.”

For upcoming events with Excel by 5, you can go to their website excelby5.com.

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