Rapides Medical Center Surgery Krewe Mardi Gras Parade Brightens the Day of Patients and Staff

Spending time at the hospital is difficult during the holidays, especially Mardi Gras.

ABC 31 News Reporter Keisha Swafford has the story on how Rapides Medical Center brought joy to patients and staff.


For 40 years, the Surgery Krewe has brought the spirit of Mardi Gras to the surgery hospital halls.

Day Surgery Manager Lacey Simmering says, “Patients are here, and they are missing out on fun things with their family members and their friends during this time, so we want to spread a little cheer, spread a little festivity, so that they don’t miss out.”


Kings or queens are nominated by their peers and crowned to boost morale.

Anesthesiologist Tyler Crisp says, “I’ve worked very closely with these guys every day. We’re more like a family up here than a work crew. It’s definitely an honor and privilege to be able to spread some cheer up here with my coworkers.”


This Fat Tuesday tradition started in the 1980s as a secret operation and now has grown into a public parade.

Simmering says, “What started out kinda something small has evolved into something rather large. Everyone at the hospital looks forward to our parade.”


Each king is pushed on a hospital bed throughout the facility to throw beads to patients and staff.

Tyler Crisp says, “A lot of what we do every day is very serious work so it’s fun to be able to take time to enjoy each other’s company in a morale boosting way that’s not so serious and spread cheer around the hospital.”


The Surgery Crewe hopes catching beads on Mardi Gras gives them a break from the stress of the day.


The Rapides Medical Center will have a 5K Color Run to help fight cancer in March.