Mardi Gras Fun Rolls Through Downtown Biloxi

Police officers led the way while the Biloxi High marching band kept the rhythm.

The annual Mardi Gras parade started right on time Tuesday afternoon, rolling down Main Street in downtown Biloxi.

Thousands of faithful Mardi Gras fans welcomed the GCCA parade with high pitched screams and outstretched arms.

"Hey, hey, hey!" yelled the parade goers, trying to get the attention of bead throwers.

Lloyd Helveston Sr. was in a Party Gras mood.

"There you go!" he screamed, from his spot along Main Street.  He's staked out the same place for years.

"We come here every year," he said, "For one thing, we're at the start of the parade. And we can get out of here just as soon as it's over with. And we love it. This is our spot."

Nine year old Calvin put on his game face this Mardi Gras. He was focused.

"Catching stuff!" the nine year old yelled, when asked his favorite part of the parade.

Main Street quickly turned into one giant Fat Tuesday celebration. The Shrimp Queen and King caught Mardi Gras fever.

"Oh, a blast," said queen Amanda Cox, "Just all the people. It's a tradition."

Friends perched in the back of a pick up truck found it the perfect place to party.

"Always have a good time Mardi Gras. It's Mardi Gras," said one young man, clutching a beer in one hand and beads in the other.

Visibility from the truck boosts the bead count.

"Yeah, helps us catch a lot of beads. See what I mean? I'm catching while you interview me," he said, as a bead toss nearly took his head off.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College band spent the afternoon keeping the beat.

Dustin Malley led the marching procession.

"It's not that bad. Hard part is listening back and trying to stay in time," he explained.

"You've got to listen back through all the music."

The Mardi Gras crowd will celebrate hard this Tuesday. After all, a party this big happens just once a year.