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When the Stags go marching in

  • Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Shaquila Flagler (center, holding up mask) and other Berkeley High School students participate in the Mardi Gras parade on Feb. 12. STEFAN ROGENMOSER/INDEPENDENT

They marched through the halls, up the stairs, down the stairs and through the courtyard banging drums and playing instruments while dressed in masks and purple, gold and green attire.
That was the scene last month at Berkeley High School as about 175 band, chorus, art, drama and French students led the school’s second Mardi Gras parade.
Students in the parade and those watching clapped, cheered and sang along to the classic New Orleans song “When the Saints Go Marching In.”
“It’s something we started last year as a tradition,” BHS Band Director Jeff Caplinger said. “It’s a Berkeley thing. I have a jazz ensemble. New Orleans is the jazz capitol.
“It’s become a tradition that we parade the halls of Berkeley. We’re educating the students on Mardi Gras traditions celebrated in Panama, South America and the Caribbean.
“It’s not necessarily the New Orleans take on it.”
In Berkeley’s take on Fat Tuesday, students enjoyed the parade as they smiled, waved and danced throughout the school in various costumes.

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