Orange Grove parade rolls on new route - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Orange Grove parade rolls on new route

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GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

The Orange Grove Carnival Association kicked off their parade in Gulfport today on a new route that revelers say caters to the family oriented parade.

Gulfport police and grand marshal Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes led the 43 entry parade through the streets of Orange Grove. This year the Orange Grove Carnival Association rolled on a new route that moved the parade up Three Rivers Road and off Highway 49. Parade officials and revelers say the route is much safer.

"City Administrative decision and also we're into a more safer area off of 49 and it's been pretty positive and allot of the entries people were saying they like it because now they'll be able to throw from both sides of the float for the entire length of the parade," said Parade Captain Edmond Wright.

Micah Sanders says he thinks the new route makes the parade more family friendly.

"The other route on Highway 49 was just so busy and so congested right there, which is great if you are younger and you don't have children, but this route, right now, I think for families is a lot more slow paced and a lot more convenient for the family," said Sanders.

For Paniesha Johnson the parade has always been perfect for little children.

"This is his first time seeing like a real big parade and I feel like this would be the best one for him to experience," said Paniesha Johnson.

 Throws rained on revelers who either were jumping up to catching them or bending down for a quick grab. But everyone had very specific throws they were looking for.

"I was just trying to get me some Saints beads. That's all I'm here for the parade, is to get me some Saints beads. Cause I'm a Saints fan," said Christina Davies.

"The Toys and the candy," said Christian Sanders.

"Stuffed animals," said Hope Patenotte.

But others along the parade route just like the music. Five-year-old Laylah Johnson says she knew exactly what song she wanted to hear.

"I got $20 in my pocket," said Laylah Johnson.

In addition to the new route, this year the parade was also two tenths of a mile longer than last year.

This year the king is Jody Boyd and this year's queen is Libby King.

For a complete list of Mardi Gras parades happening tomorrow and the rest of Mardi Gras season click here.

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