PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Floats rolled down the streets of Pass Christian Sunday for one of the oldest parades on the Gulf Coast -- the St. Paul Carnival Association Parade. The organization's 87th annual Mardi Gras parade kicked off Sunday at 11:30 a.m., moving up a half-hour from previous years.
If you're headed out to the parade this morning, make sure to grab a light jacket and some sunglasses. With temperatures this morning in the 40s, it's a chilly start to a parade day. But Meteorologist Wesley Williams says, despite the cool weather, it will be a beautiful, sunny day, warming up into the 60s this afternoon.
The parade route will be the same as in previous years - beginning at the corner of Davis Avenue and Second Street, then proceeding to Scenic Drive and turning west on Henderson Ave, then going north to St. Louis, east to Church Street, south to Second Street and then on to Davis Avenue.
Due to safety reasons following a shooting at last year's parade, there will be no parking on either side of Second Street from Church Street to Davis Avenue and no parking in the medians or along Hwy. 90 except in designated parking areas on the south side of Hwy. 90. All vehicles parked in no-parking zones will be towed.
This year, SPCA will celebrate the carnival season by going on a galactic journey with the theme "Pass Beyond Galaxies: An Outer Space Adventure." Dozens of floats from organizations and krewes all over the Gulf Coast will join SPCA on their journey, tossing a variety of throws to the large crowds.
This year's King Christian LXXXVII is Donald J. Rafferty, a lifelong native of Pass Christian and the current city attorney. Growing up as a member of the SPCA, his family connections in the organization stretch back nearly 80 years. He and his wife Susan have three daughters and four grandchildren.
Queen Christiana 2017 is Dawn Sessum LaMarca, a lifelong resident of Pass Christian. She and her husband Michael are co-owners of Pirate's Cove Restaurant and have three children and one grandson. LaMarca is a second-generation member of the SPCA.
Join WLOX News Now's Hugh Keeton, Meggan Gray, and meteorologist Andrew Wilson for live coverage of the parade. You can watch the parade live on WLOX ABC or catch it streaming live on our website, the WLOX News Now app, and on Roku. If you miss it, the parade will be re-broadcast Sunday night at 10:30 p.m. on WLOX CBS.