EL CENTRO — El Centro’s annual Mardi Gras Light Parade and Street Festival let participants know that come rain or shine, there was going to be a parade. Despite weather apps predicting the rain would stop at 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, a heavy drizzle continued throughout the Valley as the parade began an hour later.
Nevertheless, bands, groups, floats and organizers lined up at their designated spots as participants refused to let the rain dampen their enthusiasm or darken their multi-colored lights wrapped around instruments, uniforms, bodies, and other parade regalia.
“It’s awesome. It’s a new experience. The kids loved it,” said McKinley Elementary School soccer coach, Chris Moreno, at the end of the wet parade. “Can you imagine as a child you always wanted to go play in the rain? Here for the parade, the kids got to march in the rain.”
Marching alongside the McKinley school soccer team were the cheerleaders. All were happily drenched as they sported the gold, green and purple beads associated with Mardi Gras along with light sticks and other glow items.
The event began as a centennial celebration 10 years ago and has continued to grow ever since due to the hard work of the community.
In honor of their civic involvement, the city of El Centro earlier crowned Dr. Alfredo Negrete and his attorney wife, Monica Lepe-Negrete, as the 2017 Mardi Gras king and queen during the Mardi Gras Royal Coronation at the community center in El Centro. Dressed in their courtly robes and crowns, the couple rode in a royal float sporting the tri-colored gold, purple and green theme and bedecked with lights.