Getting Ready For Fat Tuesday

The countdown is on for the Fat Tuesday parades. And thousands of South Mississippi residents are ready to celebrate.

Three parades will roll through downtown Biloxi Tuesday.

"You have to watch these hammers. And make sure you're hitting the rod and not your fingers," said Claude Payne, as he hammered a steel rod through some orange plastic fencing.

Payne spent the morning "parade proofing" his Howard Avenue home. Installing the temporary fence has become a Mardi Gras tradition.

"It saves a little bit of my lawn and everything else. We've had them come up on the porch and use the bathroom and everything else. We just prefer to have it a family affair," said Payne.

Chris Ladnier has just the thing when nature calls Fat Tuesday. He spent Lundi Gras unloading 74 portable toilets at key locations along the parade route.

Each year the parking lot at the Vieux Marche becomes a Mardi Gras village of sorts. Friends stake out parking spots and settle in for a long celebration.

Two sisters from Vancleave began a tradition ten years ago. They parked their pop up camper there Sunday night.

"Oh yeah. It's worth it. It really is. The kids have a good time. But I do too. We've done it for years and years. Born and raised here," said Darlene Ealy.

Bill Lowery says there's another big advantage to setting up camp along this stretch of Howard Avenue.

"Well, it's toward the end of the parade. They're throwing a lot of stuff right here. You get a lot of throws," said Lowery.

The early birds are ready to let the good times roll.