Long Beach marks 50 years of celebrating Mardi Gars

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Long Beach marked half a century of celebrating Mardi Gras Sunday as people lined the streets to catch beads, candy, and more.

The parade included more than 30 entries, including the Long Beach High band. The Carnival Association founders and past royalty who took part in the celebration said they are proud of what the organization has done over the years.

The group was originally known as the St. Thomas Mothers' Club.

"We needed the money for the school terribly," one of the founders, Marian Lion, remembered. "We were having a financial problem, so we decided at that time that teams competed for the title of king and queen, and we had all kinds of fundraisers. It was a fun time. And it just built and built and built to a large thing."

Back in 1978, Wilda Switzer served as Queen Rosalie.

"It's tremendous," Switzer said. "I tell you in all these years, all the money they've raised they've not only helped the Catholic School, but they also help Special Olympics, de l'Epee Deaf Center and many other civic organizations."

This year's king and queen were Jay Oberlies and Jo Marie Favre Leblanc.

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