WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Mardi Gras came to Wilmington a few days early this year, as one dad planned the ultimate surprise for his eight-year-old daughter.
The Cotton Exchange was covered in decorations Saturday, and there were activities ranging from face painting to mask making.
The highlight of the afternoon was when the kids lined the courtyard to get a piece of the famous King Cake. But when one little girl found the prize winning piece she got the surprise of a lifetime.
Michael Haskett had been deployed overseas for the past six months. He hid in the nearby ice cream parlor as the cake was passed around.
In Mardi Gras tradition, if someone gets a figurine in their cake, they get a surprise. Turned out Haskett's daughter Matty was the lucky winner.
The family says the first thing they're going to do together is celebrate Christmas.
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