BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - No rain, no pain. The beginning of the party was dry - at least as far as the weather goes - as the Krewe of Neptune Parade rolled through downtown Biloxi. But even with any potential downpours, the fun-hungry crowds were ready for anything.
Starlene Page of Poplarville came prepared for bad weather.
"I've got a rain jacket in there I'm going to wear," she said. "I'm catching me some beads."
Her special Mardi Gras poncho came with some fancy party rain boots. She and her family, who grew up in Biloxi, normally are in New Orleans at this time.
"This year, we decided to come back home and enjoy Mardi Gras again like we always have in the past," Page said.
Michael Jamison and family have been coming every year, and this year he is giving rather than receiving as a new member of the Krewe of Neptune.
"My brother-in-law brings his RV," he said. "The whole family comes out. It's a great time, and I wound up joining this past year. So, I'll be riding a float this year."
The threat of rain wasn't going to stop Vivian Parker and her family. They brought a tent and lots of food.
"When we come to the Neptune parade, we always go home with loads of beads," she said. "They throw to everyone and everyone is so friendly."
Jeffrey Cuevas' Krewe of Legacy float earned top honors among the non-member entries.
"Neptune has been one of my favorite parades since they came back for the night," he said. "I was honored to have been first place winner last year."
Ten marching bands threw the celebration into high gear. This year's theme: Neptune University. The New Orleans style floats were the center of attraction carrying tons of beads for everyone.
This year's Grand Marshal: Ole Miss Head Football coach and Gulfport native Matt Luke.
"It's good to get back home and, you know, I'm just really excited to be down here, and I am from the Coast and proud of it."
King Neptune was Jeff O'Keefe Jr., and Queen Venus was Anna-Catherine Slimon.