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60+ Mardi Gras Parade features senior royalty

San Antonio’s unofficial “krewe” of City-sponsored senior nutrition centers will bring East Side streets alive as the 60+ Mardi Gras Parade celebrates its 15th year on Friday, March 28, at 10:00 a.m. Similar to the New Orleans festivities, kings and queens representing 40 senior nutrition centers will lead the way as decorative floats wind their way along a four-mile route from Martin Luther King Park, located at 3503 MLK Drive, to Comanche Park #2, located at 2600 Rigsby.

William and Addie Garner, owners of Mr. & Mrs. G restaurant will serve as Grand Marshals with an expected crowd of 1,500 seniors joining 65 floats. Seniors from the various nutrition centers arrive early in the morning to decorate the floats for the parade. The parade is capped off by a fundraiser event featuring dancing, food and refreshments along with arts and crafts for sale at Comanche Park until 3:00 p.m. The event is open to the public.

While participants are enjoying the festivities, staff from the Department of Community Initiatives (DCI) will assist seniors in completing their tax return in order to qualify for the IRS Economic Stimulus Payment. Those who may qualify for this payment include seniors, persons with disabilities and veterans. Qualifying individuals must receive income of at least $3,000.00; this includes wages from employment, Social Security and veteran benefits.

Free information on nutrition, Medicare/Medicaid and other areas of concern for a growing older population will be available. DCI staff will also offer information on Solid Waste fee reimbursement credits that can be applied toward City Public Service bills.

Other City departments and community agencies participating in the event include Metro Health, Code Compliance, Animal Care Services, VIA, CPS Energy, SAWS and the San Antonio Food Bank.

The 60+ Mardi Gras Parade is presented by the 60+ Mardi Gras Committee and DCI’s Senior Services Division. Corporate sponsors for the event include: WellCare of Texas (Platinum Sponsor), RMG Health Centers (Gold Sponsor), AmeriGroup Community Care (Silver Sponsor), and Aetna Medicare, MedTeam, Inc. and EverCare/Secure Horizon (Bronze Sponsors). All proceeds from the fundraiser benefit the nutrition centers through purchase of arts and crafts materials, emergency-assistance resources for senior patrons and funding of recreational activities.

For more information, call DCI’s Senior Services Division at 207-7172.