Thousands Turn Out To Celebrate Long Beach Mardi Gras Parade

Thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Long Beach for the parade. People came from near and far for the festivities. Matt Lohan traveled all the way from Ireland to experience the event South Mississippi style.

"I've got good family here. My brother, Louis, is your preacher. I have to come and check him out now and again. It's a real privilege to be here. I couldn't have picked a better time to come for Mardi Gras. We've heard about it many times, but to get into the spirit of it is quite magical," Matt Lohan said.

It didn't take him long to get the hang of things. And some people went to great lengths to get a leg up on the competition for beads.

"As long as I stand away from the main crowd, I've got them beat," Robbie Seymour said.

Long Beach resident Robbie Seymour has been attending the parade all his life. He's learned a few tricks over the years and says wearing stilts gives him an edge in the competition for throws.

"It was just something different. I mean I've had it at costume contests before, and it's just something a little different to do here. You know, all the big beads go to the little man over there," Seymour said.

This year's king and queen, Johnny Favre and Cindy Cox, made their traditional toast during the procession. And that's just one of the things that makes this traditional parade so unique, a blending of both royalty and revelry, on the streets of Long Beach.