Royal Boat Trip Precedes Parade Celebration - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Royal Boat Trip Precedes Parade Celebration

Male members of the court boarded the royal yacht at the Palace Casino.

"Good morning. Good morning," the deck hand greeted as the krewe came aboard, "Yes sir, welcome aboard."

Rick Carter's 80 foot Hattaras provides a vessel worthy of a king. A pre-parade boat ride is a Gulf Coast Carnival tradition.

After taking last year off in Katrina's wake, this court is ready to celebrate.

"We held all our fun until this year. Now I have found that the people of the Gulf Coast are ready for carnival this year," said James Howard Haynes, this year's King d'Iberville.

Despite a late night carnival ball, this krewe livens up quickly.

"Oh yes!" the king exclaimed, as he danced on the deck.

The cruise featured food and drink, fit for a king and all the king's men. This celebration at sea is but a warm up for the party that awaits onshore.

"We just love to have fun. And that's what we need down here, is to have a little bit of fun," said Rick Carter, a royal duke and the perfect party host.

"This has been fantastic. It is great. I've had a royal krewe. Everybody has represented themselves well. We've all represented themselves well. We've all represented the Gulf Coast Carnival. And we're just pleased to be here in Biloxi for this beautiful event," said the king.

Near the end of the boat ride, another tradition. Previous royalty stages a water balloon ambush. They attack, sternside.

Dukes protect their king at all costs; even a pelting with water balloons.

"Yeah, I knew they were coming by golly," said a soaked Bobby Knesal, "I got two direct hits."

The enemy also awaited at the finish, staging another attack from the schooner pier. The krewe sustained the barrage, while the king vowed revenge.

"Remember it next year. Paint guns!" he declared.

By Steve Phillips

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