Gold, green, and purple costumes and decorations covered the room. Zydeco music filled the chamber with sounds of celebration. Louisiana legends, Creole customs, and slices of King Cake were shared among the guests—each hoping that their piece contained the miniature baby Jesus figure. This wasn’t Bourbon Street, New Orleans on Fat Tuesday. This was 150 Ware Road, Westview Health Care Center this past Tuesday.
A complete Mardi Gras party was held by Westview’s Therapeutic Recreation Department on February 27th. The residents of the facility enjoyed a concert by Craig Edwards, a performer currently based out of Mystic, CT who has traveled the world studying “Roots Music.” At one moment he played the fiddle, weaving a bluegrass melody; next he grabbed a banjo, strumming and singing a story about Cajun legends; then he picked up an accordion to excite the room with an up-tempo zydeco jam. It was a set list capable of convincing anybody at any age to tap their foot.
The entire guest list—staff, residents, and guests—adorned themselves with apparel that would make any harlequin proud. It was a rainbow of masquerade masks, regal robes, feathered boas, and jester hats. Everyone looked the part, but the most resplendent look belongs to the annually-crowned King and Queen. This honor is bestowed upon the male and female who find that small, infant figure representing Christ the King within their piece of “King Cake.” This year’s monarchy of Mardi Gras is George Dowell and Marion Andrews, featured in the accompanying photograph.
Westview’s wonderfully festive Shrove Tuesday celebration has been building towards its grand scale for years. Therapeutic Recreation Director Louise Taylor inherited the admiration for Mardi Gras from the previous Recreation Director, Pam Fillmore. Now that she is bead lead, Louise feels compelled to keep the tradition going and make it better each year. In her words: “This event is such a break from the norm. Some of the other major holidays require very specific handling so you can properly match everyone’s expectations. Mardi Gras is different. My goal every year is to create the least expected, most fun party that we possibly can.”
Westview Health Care Center is a 103-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, which includes a distinct and self-contained 28-bed sub-acute short-term rehabilitation unit and outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapies including: Sports Medicine, Adolescent/Pediatric, Adult and Aquatic Outpatient Centers, all dedicated to providing outstanding quality health care services. The facility is located in Dayville, Connecticut and is ranked among the top nursing facilities in the nation according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service; and U.S. News and World Report for the past 10 years.
If you or your loved one would like more information or to take a tour of the facility, we invite you to a closer look at Westview Health Care Center.
Please contact our Resident Services office at 860-774-8574