OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It's officially Mardi Gras season and kicking off the bead throwing party was the Elks Parade in Ocean Springs.
While it's always a show to see the dozens of floats pass by, one woman says she tries her best every year to give a piece of the show back to the float riders.
When the sirens sound, Riley Norman knows it's show time.
The Elks Parade didn't start until 1 p.m. Saturday, but Norman came out at 8 a.m. to start dressing up her vehicle with Mardi Gras goodies so those floating by would have something to enjoy and look at as well.
"Every year, we pick up little tokens and trinkets that they throw us each year, and this is a totem of over the last 30 years of things that have been thrown," Norman said.
Of course, Norman loves the responses she gets.
"People come by and say, 'Oh, that's really cool,' and they talk about it", Norman said.
"We saw it from the road," one onlooker said with excitement. "I wanted to come see what you have on here because we saw it from the road."
"Oh, wow! How cool," Norman replied.
Norman says she enjoys catching new items at each parade party with her son and daughter, Rayne and Josette, to add to their collection, but it's the throws that they know are meant for them that are most special.
"It's a nice feeling whenever you look at someone and then they look at you and they throw a bead that's meant for you and you catch it. It's a nice feeling" Rayne said.
Norman isn't alone when it comes to enjoying catching the colorful, plastic necklaces and dancing to good tunes. She says it's always a big party for everyone.
"It's a time to let your hair down, hoot and holler and have a great time," Norman said.
This year's Elks King and Queen were King Fidelit, Jack Power, and Queen Charity, Chris Brosseau.