By Jessica Bowman – email
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It is a part of the carnival tradition to keep the King and Queen a secret. That kept secret is revealed. We introduce you to this year's Gulf Coast Carnival Association's King d'Iberville and Queen Ixolib.
Reigning over the Gulf Coast Carnival Association as King d'Iberville is John Hairston his Queen Ixolib is Kathryn Ann Bailey.
King d'Iberville, John Hairston said, "I'm a 1981 graduate of Gulfport High School. Went to Mississippi State University as did my lovely queen."
The two State graduates are proud to be carrying on the carnival custom.
Kathryn Ann Bailey, of Gulfport, is a Senior at Mississippi State University and is majoring in Clinical Exercise Physiology.
As a 2006 graduate of St. John High School, this is her eleventh year in the Carnival Association and she says this throne has deep roots in her family.
Queen Ixolib, Kathryn Ann Bailey said, "My grandfather was king. My dad was king, and my sister was a queen. So I just hope I can make them proud."
Hairston serves as the CEO at Hancock Bank. He said he feels privileged to be among more than 100 years of tradition.
"Well, first of all it's an honor to serve after so many great kings that have served the citizens of both Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said King d'Iberville John Hairston. "I was a Duke to King Carl Chaney in 2005 and a member of the krewe that actually served the second year after hurricane Katrina."
Hairston now passes the carnival tradition down the line.
"My daughter Reagan is a page to the king this year, and I'm really excited to have my little girl following behind me," said Hairston.
Bailey says her costume as Queen Ixolib is unique and one she will never forget.
Bailey said, "It's exactly what I imagined. This of course (the head dress) is very heavy, but I can get through it."
For 102 years, the GCCA Kings and Queens have happily held their heads high while wearing the crowns to reign on carnival's biggest day.
"I'm very excited, I'm very honored to be Gulf Coast Carnival's Queen," said Bailey.
The two will lead the way Fat Tuesday with their royal scepters in hand letting the good times roll.