GCCA parade attracts large crowd in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Sunny skies, warm temperatures and a crowd of many thousands greeted the big parade in downtown Biloxi Tuesday afternoon.

The Gulf Coast Carnival Association pleased the crowd with colorful floats, up-tempo music and plenty of throws. The Ole' Biloxi Marching Club shared the love and helped kickoff the GCCA parade, trading flowers for kisses.

We found Jeremy near the town green, with his niece Cambry on his shoulders. They happily joined the familiar chorus of screaming for beads.

"I'm in the military. I'm on leave. And I like spending time with my niece and nephew. That's about it. Just a whole lot of fun," he said.

That's a pretty good description of Mardi Gras in downtown Biloxi:  A whole lot of fun.

A group of visiting travel writers rode the Gulf Coast Visitor's Bureau float, including Julie Catalano from San Antonio, Texas. It's her first Mardi Gras experience.

"I can't imagine anything more fun, more energetic, more vibrant. Everybody looks so happy. A gorgeous day and I'm thrilled to be here," said the free lance writer.

Eleven-year-old Nicholas Gestring is thrilled his net is scooping up the throws.

"I've gotten tons of beads. I've gotten bouncy balls. I've gotten footballs. I've gotten these. It's crazy," said the smiling youngster.

King D'Iberville, Mark Mavar, was having a blast.

Queen Ixolib not only gave us a great strand of beads, but the Queen, Christina Carter, also offered a toast.

"Cheers to WLOX. Thank you for all your service. Thank you," said the gracious queen.

Thanks to the Gulf Coast royalty for staging such a great parade. Just ask Ed Vaughn from Dothan, Alabama.

"It is such a great place to be. I love it. It's fantastic," he said.

13 year old Lacy knows her favorite thing about Mardi Gras.

"I like all the floats," she said.

Colorful floats, sunny skies and a happy crowd.  That's worth another proclamation from the Queen.

"Happy Mardi Gras, Whoo!," shouted the queen.

To see more pictures from Tuesday's GCCA parade in Biloxi, visit our community page at http://biloxi.wlox.com/photo-gallery/events/54271-slideshow-gulf-coast-carnival-association-races-parade.

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