BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - If they sound Irish and look Irish, then they must BE Irish. Yes?
"No. I wish I was," said Hattiesburg resident Jennifer Clark. "I've been to Ireland, though."
But one thing was clear at the Hibernia Society's St. Patrick's Day Parade.
"We don't have to be Irish to have fun," said Laina Laird of Brookhaven.
She and her 16-member wedding party added the parade for a little extra twist to their party tour.
"We had to get away from Brookhaven for the trip," Laird said.
The rain held off, and even some sun broke through the clouds as the parade rolled through.
"We like to come to the Coast," Clark said. "And we like family fun, and so we brought the family down. We thought the rain would hold us out, but it is a gorgeous day here."
Biloxi Mayor FoFo Gilich was Grand Marshal and Kathryn Winter was Colleen. They kicked off the parade with a cheer and a toast.
Thousands of paradegoers grabbed their share of beads, doubloons, and just about anything else that could be thrown and caught.
Many of those along the route were first-timers.
"I'm visiting," said Greenwood resident Michelle Edwards. "Why wouldn't I be here? Where else would I be? This is really cool. My first time here… I'm really enjoying myself. It will not be my last trip here."
But some will say few people love this day more than the Butler sisters.
The four siblings have been getting together for 10 years to make a St. Patrick's Day trip somewhere in the country.
This is their first stop in Biloxi.
"We went to Buffalo last year and the group said, let's go somewhere warm," said Sarah Griffenhagen.
And in the sisters' opinion, it didn't disappoint.
"This is amazing," she added. "We've been to some really bad ones, and this is fabulous… This is definitely a come-back place."
After the parade, trophies from floats to costumes were awarded in seven categories.