Biloxi, MS, Mardi Gras Feb. 12, 2013
Husband Walter and I had planned to forego joining revelers for Mardi Gras parades on Fat Tuesday this year. We were both recovering from his gallbladder surgery. And neither of us wanted to brave the rainy weather that was in the forecast.
We elected instead to visit his mom, enjoy lunch at a favorite restaurant then get some walking in at an indoor mall. I had been neglecting that part of my stroke-recovery rehab due to recent cold and rainy weather.
When we headed home, Hubby took a chance on a direct route east on U.S. 90. The westbound lanes of the four-lane highway along the beach become part of parade routes during Mardi Gras season. We thought the rain would mean reduced traffic on the eastbound lanes we were traveling and maybe even the delay or cancellation of the day’s parades.
A small but enthusiastic crowd braves rain in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Determined revelers lined the westbound lanes, though. And traffic was slowed but not clogged in the east bound lanes. Hubby graciously filled my request to take my point-and-shoot Canon and document our unexpected opportunity for a sampling of Mardi Gras festivities from the high and dry comfort of our van.
King d’Iberville arrives.
Traffic lights slowed our progress enough that we saw about seven of the 17 floats featured among over 100 different entries in this year’s Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade.
Red, white and blue
Walter stuck his arm out and waved at the folks tossing beads, stuffed animals, doubloons and other Mardi Gras trinkets from the floats. Some ladies with exceptional strength and accuracy sailed beads right into his hand.
The four or five colorful strands did not compare to the “haul” characteristic of past up-close-and-personal parade experiences. And we didn’t see any of the extravagant, professionally designed and crafted floats we have seen in New Orleans. But the fun, laughter and hometown atmosphere we enjoyed in our brief drive-by Mardi Gras was pure Mississippi Gulf Coast merrymaking.
“Throw me something, Mister!”