Elks get ready for Saturday's Mardi Gras parade - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Elks get ready for Saturday's Mardi Gras parade

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It's time to put on your dancing shoes and do the Mardi Gras mambo. Carnival season kicks into high gear on Saturday. The Orange Grove Carnival Association will roll at 2 p.m. in Gulfport and the Krewe of Elks at 1 p.m. in Ocean Springs.

In Ocean Springs, krewe members were hard at work getting ready for a good time. Before letting the good times roll members of the Krewe of Elks have to put in some elbow grease getting ready for their annual Mardi Gras parade.

"There is a krewe that does this. People think you can just ride a float. Get on," said Bob Delaney, parade captain.

"But the people work on this for months. If you take a look at the float behind me there you'll see the paint is beginning to peel. We paint it. We repair it every year. What you don't want to happen if for your float to break down during the parade."

This year's parade through Ocean Springs will include more than 80 floats. Officials said the Elks parade has stayed popular for nearly 40 years because it's family friendly. This year's theme "Coastal Duck Dynasty" is a take from the popular reality TV show.

"Our participants are really getting into it this year. You're going to see a lot of beards. You're going to see a lot of camouflage. You're going to see a lot of Duck Dynasty and a lot of ducks. It's going to be a lot of fun."

The fun times don't end when the parade is over. Everyone is invited back to the Elks Lodge for an awards ceremony and to feast on red beans and rice. Paul Fox, whose been growing out his Duck Dynasty beard is looking forward to serving the crowds.

"I enjoy cooking so this is just a way that I can give back. Let the community come have fun," said Fox.

"It's a tradition for an after parade party to get everybody out here to issue out the awards and let everybody know what the Elks are all about."

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