The music, the Mardi Gras beads and we can't forget the accents. It feels more like the Deep South than Vermont.
"It was awesome," student Sierra Polley said.
Grammy Award winners Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience Band helped the Williston Central School find their inner Zydeco Thursday. It a unique form of folk music using both French and English. It evolved from Creole music from Louisiana in the 19th century.
"Lead instrument number one is what I have around my neck. This is an accordion," Simien said. "Frotwa is French. It means rub board. This was created for this style music."
And this party has a purpose-- it was earned. Students here participate in a program called Be Smart. Positive behavior like being respectful earns students a bead; those beads get collected and counted. Once the kids have 10,000 beads they get to celebrate.
"This whole program started as the school coming together and wanting to acknowledge students for their positive behaviors," said Jackie Parks, the principal of Williston Central School.
"I thought it was great. It was really fun. He was throwing all the things out," student Noah Lemieux said.
This time it's a concert, other times it's dance party or extra time at recess. This is their fourth Be Smart celebration, but we were told it is the best yet.
"This was a gift from the sky to be honest," Parks said.
Gina Bullard: So was it a celebration or what?
Sierra Polley: Yes, I was awesome.
And by all the smiles, dancing and singing, it's easy to see why.
"I thought it was really cool how they got everyone so excited and I really liked the music. It was really fun," Polley said.
A big reward and a history lesson on Creole that's hard to forget.
If you want to catch Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Band Experience, they will be playing at the Spruce Peaks Performing Arts Center at Stowe this Saturday.
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