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The members of the Runnels Schools 2020 Mardi Gras court are, front row, from left, second grade prince Archer Carkuff, second grade princess Natalie White, Petite King Rayan Shah, Petite Queen Adleigh Watts, first grade princess Birdie Ward and first grade prince Taylor Ezell. In the second row are fourth grade princess Sophie LeBlanc, fourth grade prince Nathan D'Gerolamo, grande king Sammy Ismail, grande queen Madelyn Sandifer, fifth grade prince Henry Daughety and fifth grade princess Lauren Ly.

Runnels School celebrated Mardi Gras with toddler parades at the preschool and the coronation of the Krewe of Runnels Royale on the main campus.

At the preschool, the Mardi Gras toddler parades rolled the morning of Feb. 21, with the prekindergartners walking the parade route decked out in purple, green and gold finery, while carrying tri-colored umbrellas and tossing beads and throws to a cheering audience of friends and family.

The 2- and 3-year-olds joined the festivities as “float riders,” traveling in lavishly decorated wagons pulled by members of the high school Senior Beta Club, visiting the preschool as volunteer helpers for the big event.

In the afternoon, the party moved to the Gladys Hague Runnels Theatre on the main campus for the coronation of the Krewe of Runnels Royale and the traditional tableau showcasing musical performances by each elementary grade and the senior class. Leading the elementary students into the theater in a traditional second line was the Runnels Marching Jazz Band of musicians in grades six through 12 under the direction of Jill Swetnam. In a departure from tradition, students in grades seven through 11 were invited to this year’s coronation.

In a random drawing, princes, princesses, kings, and queens of a Petite (grades one through three) and Grande Court (grades four through six) were selected and honored with crowns, robes and other insignia of office. The court members are Birdie Ward and Taylor Ezell, first grade; Natalie White and Archer Carkuff, second grade; Petite Queen Adleigh Watts and Petite King Rayan Shah, third grade; Sophie LeBlanc and Nathan d’Gerolamo, fourth grade; Lauren Ly and Henry Daughety, fifth grade; and queen Madelyn Sandifer and king Sammy Ismail, sixth grade.