LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - The Carnival Association of Long Beach parade on Saturday was the biggest in its 45 years of rolling through downtown.
But, there was plenty of party before the parade.
King Scott 2015 Ben DiLorenzo has held the parade party spot on Jeff Davis Avenue for 20 years. If it can be cooked, he'll grill it or smoke it.
His love of family and friends fits in well with the carnival association and parade.
"Everywhere along you'll see hundreds and hundreds of children out here and enjoying themselves, and that's what I like about this parade and I think that reflects what Long Beach is."
It's made an impression on first-time parade goer Taylor Jones of Prentiss. She wants to take message back home to city leaders.
"I'm going to tell them I want a parade in Prentiss," said Jones.
Just yards from city hall, a pot of gumbo helped fuel the fun for Danyell Higgins and her friends. However, the Long Beach parade was the draw.
"I'm from Grand Bay, Ala., and I come to the Long Beach parade instead of Mobile because it's so much fun over here. It's crazy fun instead of scary fun."
Across the street, Long Beach native Kym Stevens found her new digs near the parade route a perfect place for wholesome fun. It was also a chance to show off the main entree: Mardi Gras burgers.
Stevens liked the fact that the Carnival Association switched the parade to night-time four years ago.
"I actually enjoy it as a night parade because all day to spend time with family and friends, and then you can end it with the parade at night."
And when night fell, parade goers came out to play.
King Scott Kent Nicaud and Queen Rosalie Angie Johnson kicked off the largest parade in the association's history with 61 units. Scuba Steve was grand marshal.
The parade theme was Enchanted Forest, and as a fitting reflection of the size of the parade, the doubloons were bigger and heavier than ever.