BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade got off to a soggy start Tuesday, but although the rain came down, the parade rolled on. Thousands of drenched parade-goers lined the streets of downtown Biloxi, determined not to miss all the Mardi Gras madness. The parade turned into a huge party in the rain.
On cue, the rain came down fast and hard the moment the GCCA parade rolled down Main Street. But thousands of parade-goers seemed oblivious to the wet stuff. They were screaming, begging for beads, and dancing in the rain.
"Oh, I love it! I love it! It's wild out here, yeah. Y'all be good and happy Mardi Gras Day," said one man from Moss Point.
They came dressed for the downpour and for the shower of beads, toys, and other trinkets. For some, their umbrellas served double duty.
"It's working pretty good," said one young man as he proudly showed off his soggy stash.
He caught everything with his umbrella. When asked if the rain was affecting him, he replied, "No, nope, no rain. I love it."
Alyssa Swanson of Ocean Springs didn't have any beads around her neck.
"I'm putting them in my bag. I don't want them to get more wet," she said.
As for the rain, Alyssa said, "It's cold water, but it's actually fun to be at."
The float riders soaked up the energy from the crowd. Queen Ixolib was all smiles, even though rain gear covered her gorgeous gown.
"People are just as enthusiastic whether it's rain or sunny," said one woman from Maine.
The crowd was not as large this year, but there were plenty of throws and the same spirit and excitement.
"We're just excited to be here and be together as a family and having a good time," said one family member from Oregon.
"We're enjoying Biloxi. It's amazing and fun and beautiful," said her daughter.
"Yeah baby, Mardi Gras!" a crowd of young men shouted.
This year's GCCA royalty are Jimmy Wetzel as King D'Iberville and Linden Brashier as Queen Ixolib.