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Story Archives: Winnsboro connections at DC event
|Winnsboro connections at DC event|
A unique Louisiana tradition captured part of the attention in Washington, D. C. last week with several Winnsboro-connected citizens joining a Mardi Gras celebration which rivaled talk of stimulus packages and a new president.
With Louisiana Rep. Rodney Alexander serving as chairman of the annual Mardi Gras in Washington, Allie Armstrong was picked to be one of the princesses in the court.
Daughter of State Rep. Noble Ellington and his wife Brenda, Allie is a 20-year-old Louisiana State University student.
While the senior Ellingtons are familiar with Louisiana galas in Washington, the trip was the first of its kind for Miss Armstrong.
The Washington Mardi Gras was created more than 60 years ago by Louisiana natives who found themselves restricted to the city during the celebration season.
Over time, the event has grown into a major D. C. social celebration that is combined with political and economic interaction.
The celebration kicked off last Thursday night with a Louisiana Alive party which featured food and entertainment from the state.
Hallie Yarbrough, the Louisiana State fiddle champion, who appears regularly at the Princess Theatre in Winnsboro, was one of the featured performers.
In fact, she performed in Monroe about a week before the Washington event where she told the audience she was previewing the ball gowns she would wear at the Washington festivities.
The celebration ended Saturday with a colorful parade, including outlandish floats, bead tossing and an evening ball where ladies were asked to dance by masked krewe members.
Between parties, there were a number of chances for politicians and business interests to intermingle.
The u. S. Chamber of Commerce luncheon was held during the Louisiana week in Washington with new Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood as guest speaker.
Alexander, as chairman of the Mardi Gras event, picked the luncheon's speaker.
Alexander also picked the event's king and queen which was a father-daughter combination.
Noted Alexandria timber businessman Roy Martin III and his daughter, Laura Kathryn Martin, were the reigning duo.