WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Gwen Williams of Bay St. Louis wouldn't miss a Nereids Parade if you paid her. Well, possibly. But it would have to be a lot.
"I just love the people that ride it," Williams said. "I love the crowd, it's home. It's really home."
The Krewe of Nereids turned Hwy. 90 in Waveland into a giant party for the 49th time on Saturday.
There were lots of dance teams and music to fill the air between the 87 floats while an estimated 20,000 people lined the street to get their share of beads and throws.
Even local police joined in on the fun.
The Ole Biloxi Marching Club handed out flowers for kisses among the crowd, and there were plenty of roadside refreshment stands to cook up the grub.
It was the first reign for Queen Doris, who remains anonymous. But, she's been in the krewe for 26 years and says the krewe is all female for good reason.
"Most of the males don't want to wear our costumes," Doris said. "And they really don't look good in the dresses."
Brenda Smith participates in the Diamondhead parade every year, but comes to Nereids to enjoy the view for one other reason:
"We recycle our beads and use them at the Diamondhead parade," Smith admitted. "But we do not recycle our Moonpies."
This is Tutu Samson's 59th Mardi Gras, and the first for Sarah Greenwood, her soon-to-be niece from Kentucky.
"I just have to say that the Kentucky Derby has nothing on this," Greenwood said. "Mardi Gras is a whole new experience. This is amazing. Mardi Gras is just fantastic."
For a list of scheduled parades, click here.