Long Beach parade biggest yet despite rain

Long Beach parade biggest yet despite rain

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - A little rain didn't stop the Carnival Association of Long Beach from carrying on with their annual Mardi Gras parade.

It had the largest participation in its 47-year history.

This year's theme for the parade was Back to the Sixties. It also broke the record for units at 57, nearly doubling the number from 2017.

The on and off rain didn't chase away those dedicated to having a good time. Many set up hours before parade time, just to take it all in.

"We left the Kiln this morning about 5 o'clock," said Stevie Haas, "after we closed the bar."

Haas, owner of the Broke Spoke, parked the official van along with 50 of his other friends at the beginning of the parade route as he has done for years.

"It's the perfect spot," he said. "We've got the groceries, we've got the parade, all the people and lots of cold beer."

It's the same for Amber Allen and crew who has a sacred spot right along Railroad.

"It's easy to get our cars in," she said. "We have the grocery store in case we have to run over there. We have room for the kids to play and so, it just works good."

Bryan Ahrens and his family are all from Long Beach, and this is their parade, deserving of one of his favorite dishes.

"We take shrimp, put a pineapple piece in the middle, wrap it with bacon and put Krystal hot sauce on it," he said with pride. "Everybody loves it. We bring it every year."

As night fell, the fun took to the streets.

It featured our WLOX chief meteorologist Carrie Duncan as grand marshal as well as Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann.

This year's King is Shane Walker and Queen is Linda Nguyen Frost.

"It's about everything," Haas said. "It's about being here. It's about the party, the parade, the whole nine yards."

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