St. Paul's parade draws 100,000+ to Pass Christian

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - For the week or two leading up to Fat Tuesday, if you're anywhere on the coast, you have your pick of Mardi Gras parades. A lot of people call the parade in Pass Christian the best on the coast.

For Scott Abbott, this parade never disappoints. He looks forward to it every year.

"I think it's awesome, it is the ultimate parade to go to in Southern Mississippi. Everyone always waits for the Pass Parade," he said.

There were a lot of people lining the streets. Officials were tossing around numbers just above the 100,000 mark.

According to the St. Paul Carnival Association President, Robert Rafferty, it's only the 84th year for the St. Paul Carnival Association, but this year marks a century for the parade itself.

"Our predecessor was started in 1914," said Rafferty.

He said the experience gives them an edge.

"Well, you know, it's like I think we're the biggest party on the Gulf Coast. It's a great time, and I love it."

To make sure they get in on the great time, a lot of people show up early for the parade. Lesley McBride and her family got here at nine in the morning to get the perfect spot.

"My favorite part, all of it baby. Catching these beads," said McBride.

McBride wasn't the earliest on the parade route. Nicole Eley claimed her spot even earlier.

"We got out here at 7 a.m. this morning," said Eley.

Joe and Sherry Morgan own a small business which happens to be right on the parade route.

"This is a perfect location, and we're having a blast," said Joe.

Their other location is in Minnesota, but they brought their business down here just to be a part of stuff like this.

"Everybody told us that it would be a little crazy, but I don't think we quite knew how big it was," Joe said.

The parade was over 80 floats long. This year's King Christian was Michael O'Dwyer and Queen Christiana was Charlotte Christman.

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