OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX)- It's never been seen before here in Ocean Springs. At seven o'clock Friday night, sirens howled, lights flashed, and police officers swept down Government Street, symbolizing the start of the first ever night parade in the city.
"I never thought about it," said Ocean Springs resident Ralph Vincent. "This was a real surprise. When I heard it on the news, I couldn't believe it."
Twenty three floats lit up downtown Ocean Springs. The street was flanked with thousands of ecstatic onlookers. The energy of those riding and those watching showed that the Ocean Springs Carnival Association's first parade was a huge success.
"I've been here in Ocean Springs since 1st grade through 12th grade, and this is a really exciting thing that we're having right here," said Tim Gray, who rode on the float entered by 'Les Pierrots' Mardi Gras Krewe.
This year there was no theme, no court, and no ball. Instead, the Krewe limited itself to one big party in the streets of Ocean Springs. The krewe planned the entire event in just a matter of weeks. Organizers say next year, they will choose a king and queen from the current board, and hopefully have more events, because they will have more time to plan.
The short notice didn't stop anyone from having a great time.
"Look at it, we're having fun out here!" said Vincent, just as the parade passed by.
Organizers hope the parade will become a community staple.
"We want to make it a family community effort, and make it a family fun event," said board member Bonnie Levi.
Judging by the turnout this year, they are well on their way to becoming part of the fabric of Ocean Springs Mardi Gras.
"Maybe next year we're going to try to get us a float in," said Vincent.
"We're pumped up about it," added Clark Levi, who is also on the board.