Mardi Gras Plans In Times Of War - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

02/07/03

Mardi Gras Plans In Times Of War

The noise, the paint, those famous colors.

It could only mean one thing - Mardi Gras - and the krewe of Gemini is getting ready for the carnival with new twist - help from Gulfport High School's art club.

"This year we've got the high school involved and they've really done a good job," Krewe of Gemini president Al Fellows said.

The Krewe of Gemini's theme for this year's carnival is "Wonders of the Sea".

They have presented Mardi Gras parades for 33 years, and even with the threat of war, the krewe will not break this southern tradition.

"I think it would be a dishonor to our men and women overseas if we didn't carry out tradition because that's what they're over there for, to give us our right of freedom and that's what we want to show them. And it will also give the people, their kids and their husbands and daughters that are overseas, they have enough stress on them right now but this is gonna help them relieve a little of that stress and have something to look forward to," Krewe of Gemini parade captain S. J. Marengo said.

The idea that "the show must go on" also rang true at the Gulf Coast Carnival Association in Biloxi. Volunteers were busy addressing nearly 3000 royal invitations for this year's events. National guardsmen usually pull the floats of any GCCA parade, so there is a contingency plan in place.

"Anyone who may have an automobile dealership, a truck dealership, tractor dealership - we've used tractors in the past. But we're just appealing to anyone that may be able to help us should this plan into motion with the activation of the national guard," GCCA carnival captain Don Marie said.

The theme for GCCA this year is "Timeless Wonders", and even in war, Mardi Gras will withstand the test of time.

No word yet if other Mardi Gras Krewes have war contingency plans in place.

By Karla Redditte

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