Baton Rouge's newest parade, Mid-City Gras, debuts

Baton Rouge's newest parade, Mid-City Gras, debuts (Source: WAFB)
Baton Rouge's newest parade, Mid-City Gras, debuts (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It's safe to say that the capital city's newest Mardi Gras parade in Mid-city did not disappoint.

"We have to come out here and have a good time," said Atley Freeman. "It's in our soul, it's in our blood."

Veteran Mardi Gras parade goer, Sheryl Lewis, who lives in Mid-city said she woke up this morning ready for the parade.

"I jumped up, grabbed my chair. It passes right in front of the house," she said.

Lewis and hundreds of paradegoers packed North Boulevard, excited to see their own neighborhood catch the Mardi Gras spirit.

"Oh, believe me," Lewis said. "Words can't even describe it because I'm very, very happy for Mid-City, it's about time."

But the highlight of the parade was not necessarily the marching bands, the Red Stick Roller Derby team, a man riding a unicycle, or even the throws.

The star of the show was 8-year-old parade watcher Christian Russ. Russ found his passion for music as a kindergartner. He said he's been watching high school marching bands all his life, so he asked his parents for a trumpet.

His family embraced his musical dream years ago.

"I like to encourage him to do what he likes," said his mother, Christopher Ann Johnson.

So, his family bought him a trumpet and he hasn't stopped playing since.

"He loves music, he plays all day," Johnson said.

Russ performed the big opening fanfare for the inaugural Mid-City Gras.

Organizers said they hope to make this an annual parade.

John Gray, an acclaimed jazz musician and music teacher was the Grand Marshal. Gray is a graduate of McKinley High School and the Southern University Music Department.

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