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Evangeline Parish family hosts children's Mardi Gras run

Posted at 10:56 PM, Feb 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 00:02:51-05

EVANGELINE PARISH — Kids in Evangeline Parish are celebrating Mardi Gras the traditional way.

The Duralde Children's Mardi Gras Run was held Sunday.

In the small community of Dulralde, everyone knows each other by name, and if you ask someone, there's only one way to celebrate Mardi Gras.

"This is the original thing to do. Go out, chase chickens, chase the pigs, dance, have fun, eat some boudin, some gumbo, and just have a good ole time in the country," said event organizer Maretta Deshotel.

Deshotel and her six siblings host the children's run, which started only three years ago.

Their late father, Marcell Johnson, came up with the idea, so kids in the community could participate in Mardi gras festivities.

"If it wouldn't be because of him, we wouldn't be here today. He had a big role in this," explained Deshotel. "He pushed us to do it and join in on all the fun. He liked his little community, Duralde."

Johnson also liked giving back to the community, which is why each year, proceeds from the event go to someone local or somewhere.

This year, the money raised will benefit the pediatric unit at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital.

"We're not just doing it for fun," explained participant Scottie Carriere. "We're actually putting the money somewhere and helping other kids in need."

It's a tradition the Johnson family will keep alive.

"It's very important that we continue doing this because I know he's looking down on us right now, smiling, because this is his thing," said Deshotel.