'She worked for this': Louisiana town throws Spelling Bee champ a parade fit for Mardi Gras

The party stretched all the way from New Orleans to Avant-Garde's hometown of Harvey

ByAndrew Morris via KGO logo
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
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Harvey, Louisiana threw a drive-by parade big enough for Mardi Gras to celebrate Zaila Avant-Garde, the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion.

HARVEY, La. (KGO) -- Leave it to small-town Louisiana to know how to throw a party for one of their own.

The community of Harvey, Louisiana threw a well-deserved parade for 14-year-old Zaila Avant-Garde, in celebration of her historic win at the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee.

RELATED: Zaila Avant-garde, 1st African American spelling bee champ, breezes to win

The party stretched all the way from New Orleans to Avant-Garde's hometown of Harvey on Sunday.

"It felt kind of surreal," said Avant-Garde. "I wouldn't think so many people would be so excited".

The 14-year-old spelling whiz made headlines earlier this month, becoming the first-ever African-American to win the spelling bee.

"I watched her work for this," exclaimed her proud mother during the parade. "I watched her do those 13,000 words a day, listening to her music in her own world, and when it came through, she worked for this y'all".

Avant-Garde has also set a few basketball-related world records. She has grand aspirations, including going to Harvard and working for NASA, or playing in the WNBA.