BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - It is the calm before the storm in downtown Biloxi on Lundi Gras. Final preparations are underway for the city to welcome tens of thousands of people for Tuesday's big parade.
The steel barricades are in place, along with that familiar orange fencing and "No Parking" signs. You can thank the crew from Waste Pro for delivering what many consider a Fat Tuesday necessity: Port-a-Lets. A two man team, working near the lighthouse, was scheduled to set-up 64 on this Monday.
"Yeah, we're real busy today," said one of the workers, "D'Iberville, Biloxi, Gulfport."
Another two man crew, this one working for the City of Biloxi, was responsible for signage: posting designated bleacher spaces outside city hall.
All along the parade route, the number of RV's continue to climb. Families are staking out their turf and getting set for the celebration. Many have been here for days.
"We have two motor homes here and we come down Thursday to set-up," said Elvin Bobinger of Saucier.
Bobinger expects around a dozen family and friends to congregate around the RVs on Main Street. He says Mardi Gras is all about having a good time with family.
"You can see some wild, crazy people!"
Restaurants and retailers along the parade route are ready for the rush.
"Between this week and Cruisin the Coast, is our best two weeks of the year. We try to make the most of it and entertain as many people as possible," said Hiram McCall, with the Old Biloxi Fillin' Station.
McCall is certain that platters of hot crawfish will be a hit.
"I enjoy the people coming in town and getting a chance to experience what we've grown up doing," he explained, "And just the fun in general."
"We will be here bright and early. Enjoy coming to the Biloxi parade every year," said Roger Smith of Biloxi.
Like so many others, Smith looks forward to family time on Fat Tuesday.
"I like bringing my children and my grandchildren out to the parade, to watch them have a good time and eat moon pies," he said.
If you're planning to attend, here's a look at the Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade route through Biloxi: