Mardi Gras would be bleak without the elaborate costumes and the people who wear them. Calvin Cowan is President of the Knights of Joy. For nearly two decades, he's made the trek from Mobile to Josette's in Biloxi to outshine the competition.
"I've been dealing with Josette's costumes for years. She does a lot of elaborate work. That's why I come from Mobile to over here, because there's no one in Mobile, that I know of, who does that type of work," Cowan said.
Calvin is wearing his tailor-made costume at a ball at the Mobile Convention Center Saturday night. He brought his best friend and a U-Haul over to carry away the majestic costume.
"Each member does their own thing. There are a lot of different costumes, and the theme of our ball tonight is Night of Stars, and you might have seen the costume. It's got stars and lights on it, and I'm pleased with it. It's sort of like a competition thing. Nobody knows what each member has until that night of," Cowan said.
Calvin will only wear his costume for a few hours, but the seamstresses at Josette's spent many hours customizing the regal costume.
"The framework, it was lots of hours, stop and go. We had to wait for plumes to come in, and special order the colors, and just a little at a time. He had to come over and look at it several times, and I just had to keep assuring him it was going to be ready," said seamstress Cathy Miller.
Mardi Gras is a year-round endeavor of love at Josette's, and each stitch is carried out with care fit for a king, queen, or any other role revelers play during the festivities.