Nighttime Mardi Gras parade rolls through Ocean Springs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Nighttime Mardi Gras parade rolls through Ocean Springs

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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

What began as a small line of floats five years ago has grown into one of the largest nighttime events in one Jackson County city.

The music was loud and the smiles were wide.  When the sun went down, the fun came up. This Ocean Springs Carnival Association Mardi Gras parade was special for birthday girl Elena Knoll, who turned eight Friday.

"I like being at Mardi Gras because I think it's fun to catch the beads and just go, 'Whoaaaa,'" Knoll said. 

What's the draw of a nighttime parade?  Hester Spivacke has a thought.  

"Just watching everybody go by. The music, the lights, the floats are all so pretty all lit up," Spivacke said. 

That was a common theme for Friday night's ride through the streets of Ocean Springs.  Brandon Windham offered up his feelings. 

"Just all the lights and the music and everything going on," Windham said. "The kids love it!"

But it's not just for kids.  The young at heart enjoy a good time too. People like Red Pitalo.

"It's just cooler. Oh yeah, the kids are wonderful, they love it. All of them up there playing and dancing up there," Pitalo said. 

Some people will do just about anything to get a little wild this time of the year.  Jane Hilton is wearing a colorful hat.  Why the hat?  

"My head got cold," Hilton said, despite the fact it's 67 degrees.  "It's something I got last year at Mardi Gras at the Gautier parade, so I have to wear it." 

How about the birthday girl? Did she score a lot of beads? Most certainly.  

In keeping with tradition, there is no king or queen for the Ocean Springs Mardi Gras Association. However, there is a grand marshal: reigning Miss Mississippi Marie Wicks from Ocean Springs.

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