Navy sailors stationed in Japan will celebrate Mardi Gras
By MICHELLE MATTHEWS | Alabama Media Group | Published: February 14, 2019
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Tribune News Service) — Seven thousand miles from Mobile, the birthplace of Mardi Gras, U.S. sailors stationed at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan will celebrate Gulf Coast-style on Mardi Gras Day.
On March 5, USO Japan will host a party for active-duty military and their families that will include a shoebox float-building contest inspired by the ‘tit Rex mini parade in New Orleans, featuring knee-high floats; a costume contest; a second-line parade with music by the 7th Fleet Navy Band’s Broadside Brass Band; food from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen; and king cake shipped to the base by Haydel’s Bakery in New Orleans. More than 200 people are expected to attend.
“This is the first time Mardi Gras will visit Yokosuka Naval Base, and we are so pleased to be able to provide a taste of an American Southern tradition to all troops and their families stationed here,” said Laura Law-Millett, the USO Japan area director, who also happens to be a Mobile native. “Consistent with the USO’s mission, this event will help connect our military to family, home and country, while providing unforgettable entertainment.”
The USO is a nonprofit organization with hundreds of locations worldwide.
“Hopefully it will be a hit and the event will grow in scope and size over the years,” said Law-Millett.