OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The 42nd annual Ocean Springs Elks parade is set to roll in just a few hours! The parade begins at the corner of Front Beach & Porter Ave. It will turn left on Washington, right on Government, then right again on Holcomb. Despite being mostly cloudy on Saturday, WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Eric Jeansonne says it should remain mostly dry.
The Krewe of Barry have spent the last week getting ready for the parade.
"We look forward to the Elks Parade for many reasons. Not just for the laughter and the joy of it, but the camaraderie and the family relationships and being involved with the community," said Barry Zuber, the krewe's namesake.
Zuber and friends formed the 24-member krewe in 2004.
The Elks Parade is the only parade he pulls the float, which used to be a cotton hauler.
"No place else. Just the Elks Parade," Zuber said. "It's a lot of work. We get a lot of enjoyment out of it, and it takes us a few days to get over it, so we can't do it more than once a year."
In the meantime, there's already a Mardi Gras spirit going on in downtown Ocean Springs. The city is getting ready and so are the businesses. In fact, this is the first Mardi Gras parade since the go-cup law went into effect.
It's also the first Mardi Gras for DAQS, and they are ready with extra daiquiri machines just for the occasion.
"It's been a slow process of getting open, and it's finally here. We got the liquor license, and we're just going really good," said Rob Lowe, with the new bar.
It's also a first for Tim Wold, owner of Off the Hook Fish House. He's prepped with a new shrimp bar for the event, and go-cups will help.
"We're looking forward to having a little more diverse crowd coming in and people that enjoy Mardi Gras and enjoy it responsibly," Wold said. "That's the main thing we're going to push."
Early festivals have prepared him, but Mardi Gras is exciting.
"I've got long sleeves on today, but it will be short sleeves and shorts and flip flops tomorrow," Wold said with a smile. "Come on down to enjoy Mardi Gras Ocean Springs downtown style. We're going to knock 'em out the park."
The Elks Parade rolls at 1 p.m., and officials expect attendance to be the best ever. The theme for this year's parade is Saturday Night Live.