Shoes and Krewes: Clear Spring students create Mardi Gras Shoebox Floats
Clear Spring School stepped into its first Mardi Gras parade on Thursday without stepping out of the classroom.
Dori Thomas, director of admissions and development, said Clear Spring students worked on Mardi Gras Shoebox Floats for about a month before displaying them in the classroom for the school’s parade on Thursday. Themes ranged from Mardi Gras to Alice in Wonderland to the beach, she said, and gave the students a chance to get both festive and creative.
“The kids were super creative. We just let them run with that creativity, and it’s incredible what they came up with,” Thomas said. “The kids really went all out.”
She said the shoebox float project came about through a partnership with Krewe du Kork of Eureka Springs. Thomas said Krewe du Kork members Ilene Powell and Cné Breaux approached the school about participating in their inaugural event.
“This was all their idea,” Thomas said. “They started the new krewe and wanted to have a charity attached to it, and they chose us.”
The Mardi Gras Shoebox Floats were auctioned off at the Krewe du Kork Wine and Dine Benefit Dinner for Clear Spring School on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Cottage Inn Restaurant. Thomas said a portion of the proceeds was donated to the school.
“It’s going to help cover the school’s operations, such as the electric bill and things like that,” she said. “We’re very thankful to Krewe du Kork for inviting us to participate.”
Powell said Krewe du Kork’s inaugural event was partially inspired by her own experiences growing up in New Orleans.
“When I was growing up in New Orleans, we did shoebox parades in school. We’d make Mardi Gras floats out of our shoeboxes, put wheels on them and parade them around the school,” she said. “Being from New Orleans and living here now, I thought this tradition might be something we could introduce to the kids to teach them about Mardi Gras.”
Powell continued, “We’re kind of looking at them as our future revelers to carry on the Eureka Mardi Gras tradition. We’re not getting any younger, so we need to get some younger people involved in the traditions.”
She said Krewe du Kork is also modeling itself after the traditional social aid and pleasure clubs of New Orleans, which raised funds for people in need in their neighborhoods.
“They raised money for people in their neighborhoods who couldn’t afford to see a doctor or had fallen on hard times,” Powell said. “So we wanted to bring that tradition of social aid and pleasure clubs with Krewe du Kork.”
Each year, she said the Krewe will pick a different charity and tradition to introduce to the town. The Krewe du Kork, Powell said, celebrates wine, spirits, food and fun. The organization also promotes a sense of unity in the community and performs charitable works, she said.
For more information about Krewe du Kork, visit Krewe du Kork on Facebook.