Hurricane Forces Changes To Carnival Plans

No carnival royalty will reign over the one Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade this year in Biloxi. Instead an un-named parade marshal will lead the festivities. There won't be as many floats and bands either, but the parade captain says it's either downsize or don't parade at all.

"The majority spoke we should have a parade this year. It's for the community effort and it's for the community to get back to normal and it's for the children. My goodness we've been doing this since 1908," says parade captain Jerry Munro.

Biloxi's police chief says parking could be a challenge.

"Small craft harbor, there's nothing down there right now. So I take it that will be public parking. A lot of businesses aren't there, but again motorists have to think about somebody else's property. Don't go parking without permission," says Chief Bruce Dunagan.

Biloxi's parade will be scaled back so much that for the first time Chief Dunegan doesn't expect to put all his officers on duty, nor does he anticipate asking outside law enforcement agencies to help on Fat Tuesday.

"I would guess it's going to be somewhat less, as far as the amount of people coming to the parades and how many people will be in the parade," he says.

But Pass Christian needs extra manpower, and the Hancock County Sheriff's Department already turned down the chief's request. There are only 21 officers to work the parade.

Chief John Dubuisson says, "There's no way we can do this parade without help from other agencies. We usually average from other agencies somewhere around 100 officers. But, of course, the parade's going to be smaller this year. It's going to be 35 units."

Those units will roll exclusively on Highway 90, starting at the west side of the harbor and disbanding in the old Winn Dixie parking lot. Chief Dubuisson says they're still working on parking.

Along with making adjustments in parade plans, many krewes have also canceled their carnival balls this year. Fat Tuesday falls on February 28th.