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-- A jazz band performing festive Mardi Gras tunes opened the Carnival-themed upperclassmen Friday night at the school.

The formally attired students -- some donning festive masks, some with parading parasols -- paraded to the high-stepping Mardi Gras beat. The grand entrance was followed by an evening that included call-outs, dancing and fine food, Principal Allen Baggett said.

Augusta Evans School, on North Florida Street in Mobile, was organized to provide a quality education for mentally handicapped students of Mobile County, according to the school's website. Students 3 to 21 years of age are served by the school, Baggett said, with the prom held for those ages 16 to 21.

In keeping with the Carnival theme, the gym was decorated in colors and scenes reminiscent of Mobile's own Mardi Gras celebrations. St. Paul's School worked with Augusta Evans School to provide decorations for the special event, Baggett said.St. Paul's representatives included Leslie Lerner, Elizabeth Gregory, Emily Peeler, Courtney Baker, Caroline Scott, Grace Killcreas, Kendall Ann Bailey, Zoe Donalson, William Chandler and Hayley Hack.

Providing musical entertainment during the evening were members of the Blowhouse Brass Band, including Will Graham, Rolf Konrad, Raven Mestass, Richard Doggett and Jonathan Landry. The jazz band performed as students arrived for the prom.

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