BARSTOW Barstow residents young and old flocked to the 78th Annual Kiwanis Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday night.

Barstow's longest running parade continued the tradition on Saturday night. Although the parade was held a week before Halloween, it had a Mardi Gras theme to make it more fun for everyone, said Bea Lint, co-chair of the parade.

This year's theme was "Barstow's Youth: Riding the Wave of the Future." Several floats featured beach-like themes, including Central High's float, which featured hula dancers and won the President's Award.

The parade was started in order to give Barstow's youth a fun and safe outlet for their excess energy, said Lint. However, many of the parents and grandparents were having as much fun as their children and grandchildren.

Some Barstow residents had been attending the parade for more than 20 years and come back for the celebration annually.

"I've been here almost every year," said Scott Rahn of Barstow. "I think it's been 20 to 30 times."

Other residents have only recently moved to Barstow and were experiencing their first Mardi Gras parade.

"I like the music," said Johnnee Hernandez, 4, of Barstow.

Johnnee's mother was also enjoying herself. The family recently moved to Barstow from Apple Valley.

"This is very neat," said Isabel Hernandez. "I like this."

Other new residents who moved from larger communities enjoyed Barstow's community-oriented atmosphere. Shelley Brookshire recently moved to Barstow from Long Beach and was attending the parade with her "kids," which were actually two tiny dogs.

"This is my first time seeing the community," said Brookshire. "I'm amazed at how orderly it is and how much fun the kids are having."

Kiwanis Mardi Gras Parade Winners

Sweepstakes Award: Cameron Elementary
President's Award: Central High School
Theme Award: Barstow Pageant Rides the Wave

Elementary School Winners
First Place: Henderson Elementary
Second Place: Cameron Elementary
Third Place: Skyline Elementary

Youth Winners
First Place: Hinkley Middle School Cheer
Second Place: Hinkley Rollicking Ranchers
Third Place: Police Activities League

Scouts Winners
First Place: Scouts United

Novelty Winners
First Place: Bob Myers 1980 President Barstow Kiwanis
Second Place: Ronald E. Bowen

Civic Winners
First Place: High Desert Charities
Second Place: Desert House of Prayer
Third Place: Dreams Can Come True

Commercial Winners
First Place: Kim Harris Dance Studio
Second Place: First Student
Third Place: Soutar's Dodge and Soutar's Ford