South Mississippians celebrate start of Mardi Gras on Twelfth Ni - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

South Mississippians celebrate start of Mardi Gras on Twelfth Night

The lights at the Mardi Gras museum were officially turned on. (Photo source: WLOX News) The lights at the Mardi Gras museum were officially turned on. (Photo source: WLOX News)
2017 Queen of Neptune Lana Sauls helped turn on the lights. (Photo source: WLOX News) 2017 Queen of Neptune Lana Sauls helped turn on the lights. (Photo source: WLOX News)
The festivities began at the Biloxi Visitor's Center. (Photo source: WLOX News) The festivities began at the Biloxi Visitor's Center. (Photo source: WLOX News)
The Blackwater Brass band performed. (Photo source: WLOX News) The Blackwater Brass band performed. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Purple, green and gold have taken over with the official start of Mardi Gras. Friday night was Twelfth Night and a celebration kicked off in Biloxi to usher in carnival season. This year, the Twelfth Night celebration had some new additions, along with a big turnout. 

A Mardi Gras size crowd broke from winter's wrath to thaw out in celebration of Twelfth Night, marking the end of the holidays and the beginning of Carnival season. 

"Everybody has cabin fever at this point," aid Lana Sauls who is the 2017 Queen of Neptune. "Everyone's just been inside staying in their beds, staying in their couches. And now they are ready to get out and socialize and have fun."

This marks the sixth year for the Twelfth Night celebration and for the first time, the Krewes of Neptune and Les Cavaliers joined the Gulf Coast Carnival Association to off the lights at the Biloxi Lighthouse. 

"The 12 days of Christmas was actually set back in the sixth century and here we are in 2018 and we're still observing the 12 days of Christmas," said Biloxi Historical Administrator Bill Raymond. 

Once the three royal courts turned off the lights, they paraded down Highway 90 to the Mardi Gras museum to turn on the purple, green and gold lights. 

Blackwater Brass entertained the crowds, who danced and put on their first Mardi Gras beads of the new year. 

"Well I think it's just part of the thread of Mardi Gras," said Corey Christy with Blackwater Brass. "The horns and jazz from New Orleans have always been kind of expected to be there and we do that so we get to be apart of that."

In the midst of the excitement for the busy season ahead, many said they are thankful for Mardi Gras - a time they get to spend time with family and friends. 

"That's the best part, seeing everyone that you haven't seen since Mardi Gras last year," said Sauls. 

"It is a fantastic event to meet new people and meet interesting people," said Mike Beck who is the 2017 King Cavalier. 

The event was started six years ago by the Oustalet family, who wanted to call attention to the significance of the origin of Carnival. 

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved. 

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