BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Bright sunshine and a chilly breeze greeted the large crowd at Tuesday afternoon's parade in Biloxi. Tens of thousands of parade fans filled the streets, sidewalks and parking lots in and around downtown.
The Gulf Coast Carnival Association and Neptune rolled along a 2.7 mile parade route. The crowd near the lighthouse was ready to party when the parade arrived.
"Got my beads. Got my camera. I'm set," said one young man, standing near the barricade at Porter and Highway 90.
Purple, green and gold still rule on Fat Tuesday. But this year, throw in some extra "black-and-gold."
"It's who dat nation this year, you bet cha. Everybody coming down here with those New Orleans shirts on," said Ken Roberts.
This year's Super Bowl victory was a perfect segue into Mardi Gras madness. More than ever it seems, folks are ready to celebrate.
"Turn it up... to the left... take it back now y'all," the music blared, as parade fans celebrated in the streets.
The enormous crowd confirms it; there's so much to enjoy on this festive afternoon.
"Oh, the beads. The throws. Everything. Fun," said one excited young woman. "I'm having a good time."
The Biloxi parade was a family affair for Chris Anderson. His three young children enjoyed all the screaming and throwing.
"It's all about coming out here and having fun with the kids. And they enjoy it," he said.
"I think they like the being so loud and catching everything," his wife added.
"Throw me something mister!" screamed one man.
Bright sun, a chilly breeze and scattered showers of beads were the afternoon forecast for fun.
One young man brought his three boys to the lighthouse location.
"They like catching stuffed animals like this and beads. It's a lot of fun. It's great everybody can come out and have a good time and catch some beads and stuff," he said, as the trio of boys scrambled for beads.
Judging from the screams and smiles and necks filled with beads, it was a wonderful afternoon and a welcome celebration in Biloxi on Fat Tuesday.
"We love the Biloxi parade. It's always wonderful. Great," said one New Orleans native, with a big smile on his face.