By Pfc. Jamal WalkerMarch 5, 2009
CASEY GARRISON - Community members came to USAG-Casey Feb. 21 to celebrate the famous New Orleans festival, Mardi Gras. Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored the event, which featured a Cajun cook off, Mardi Gras parade, Children's Cajun Carnival, and a Bourbon Street party.
"We have events like this, with the help of the chain of command, because it is a great way to show Soldiers new to Area I there are ways to have fun other than going to bars and partying," said Sgt. James Soto, Better Opportunity for Single and Unaccompanied Soldiers military liaison.
The Cajun cook off judged Cajun dishes made in two hours with only a cooking grill and table. Once the allotted time had come to an end, the dishes were brought to three judges, Command Sgt. Maj. Nidal Saeed USAG-Casey, Command Sgt. Maj. Earlene Lavender, USAG-RC, and Corrine Carrisal, Equal Opportunity representative at USAG-Red Cloud, who graded the dishes.
"In the past, we have had rib cook offs, and chili cook offs, so in the spirit of the festival, we (the BOSS council) felt everyone should try to show what real Cajun food taste like," said James Underwood, BOSS program manager.
The parade kicked off at 3 p.m. when Saeed recognized specific individuals from BOSS
and the 2nd Infantry Division Band for all they did to make the Mardi Gras happen.
"I want to thank the 2nd ID band, the Dongducheon Marching Band, the Dongducheon School, all of the BOSS programs in Area I, and all they have done to make this event successful. We took the opportunity to celebrate Mardi Gras on a beautiful Saturday morning and the event is a success because the Area I BOSS program is one of the best on the peninsula and one of the best in the world," Saeed said.
The parade started with the HHD USAG color guard leading the way, followed by the 2ID Band, decorated Mardi Gras floats, Dongducheon Marching Band, and FMWR party train.
After the parade, parents and children attended the Children's Cajun carnival at the Casey Community Activity Center.
The event featured face painting, games, magic show, and a musical show where 20 children of the Dongducheon American Community School sang and danced to various songs.
"The children's activities where coordinated so that the children will have something to do. This isn't just for the Soldiers, it is for the community, the Family members and children as well," said Sally Hall, USAG-Casey CAC manager.
At 5:30 p.m. people where lined up waiting to buy their tickets for the Bourbon Street Party. New Soldiers from the Warrior Replacement Center in Yongsan were invited by Soto, who said it is important to welcome new Soldiers to Korea and show them all the great things BOSS has to offer.
The next event will be a Luau in March with emphasis on Asian Pacific culture. For more information contact your local BOSS representative.