City of El Centro Chooses New Mardi Gras Royals

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EL CENTRO — In honor of their civic involvement, the city of El Centro crowned Dr. Alfredo Negrete and his attorney wife, Monica Lepe-Negrete, Thursday evening as the 2017 Mardi Gras king and queen during the Mardi Gras Royal Coronation at the community center in El Centro.

As Sedalia Sanders, last year’s Mardi Gras queen, held the crown over Lepe-Negrete, the latter lowered her head to gracefully receive the coronation. Meanwhile, just a few feet away from them, 2016 Mardi Gras King Albert Sanders, placed the crown on new king, Dr. Negrete.

Once the crowns were in place, Sanders wrapped the red cape around the new queen, and she was followed shortly by her husband placing the red cape on the shoulders of Dr. Negrete.

Now crowned and dressed in their royal robes, the past queen presented the new royalty before the crowd.

A trumpet sounded as the past queen addressed the attendees. “I want you to welcome your 2017 king and queen! And aren’t they regal.”

The audience response was spontaneous as they welcomed them, signaling a new period in the history of El Centro Mardi Gras.

Welcoming remarks by the king and queen held an abundance of gratefulness, thanking their parents, predecessors, mentors, colleagues and many others who have contributed to the shaping of their success in their careers and as individuals.

Dr. Alfredo Negrete was born in El Centro and is a successful pediatrician. A graduate of Central Union High School, he pursued his medical degree at University of Illinois in Chicago. He returned to Imperial Valley to practice medicine with ABC Pediatrics, and is currently the Pediatric Chairman for the Imperial County Physician’s Medical Group.

The Negretes have two children. Monica Lepe-Negrete has practiced law for more than 13 years in California and has worked with the Imperial County Counsel’s Office and with the Imperial County District Attorney’s Office. She now co-owns the Negrete & Barreto law firm in El Centro.

During the coronation, El Centro Mayor Alex Cardenas presented a proclamation to the new Mardi Gras king and queen.

“It is truly overwhelming, I am really grateful and very humbled that we were chosen to be king and queen,” said Dr. Negrete. “I appreciate the support from the community.” Lepe-Negrete echoed her husband’s sentiment.

Outgoing queen Sanders said, “One of things that was important was to go to the schools to speak with the children. You also do a lot of community work on behalf of the city. Now I can pass the baton on to someone who really stepped up to the plate and will get that accomplished.”

“My reign was one that I thoroughly enjoyed,” said Sanders.  “Being selected by the city is a great honor. It was really something that is honorable and humbling.”

The community is invited to celebrate the 2017 Mardi Gras light parade and street festival February 18 in El Centro. Preparations are underway for the construction of the float as well as other projects leading to the festivities.

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