BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - After two deaths in New Orleans this year, the Gulf Coast Carnival Association (GCCA) is making sure all float riders are will be cautious and careful at their annual parade on Tuesday.
With large trucks and huge floats rolling down the street amid a chaotic atmosphere, there is a distinct recipe for disaster. However, the GCCA will hit the parade route in Biloxi on Tuesday, and the Krewe feels confident that all their float riders are aware and that the floats themselves are as safe as possible.
“Our floats are constructed in a way where it’s already pretty safe. The railings are above waist high. There is little danger of someone falling off one of our floats. We only have one tandem float which is where the dukes and maids ride, and they’re told, ‘you are to stay on the floats,’” said GCCA Captain Jeff Elder.
The possibility of tragedy is on both sides of the parade. While float riders are encouraged to be heedful, parade-goers must also be cautious and follow some basic rules.
“When the parade is going on, stay behind the barricades. Don’t get on the barricades because they tip easy. Don’t let children go under barricades to grab beads,” Biloxi Police Major Chris DeBack said.
Heightened awareness is the name of the game. GCCA takes safety very seriously. A plan is in place and those in charge of the parade make sure everyone is on the same page.
“Every year we have a parade float meeting. Gulf Coast Carnival has 28 floats, but we have 128 in the parade. We have different organizations join our parade. We have a float puller and rider meeting at the beginning of the carnival season,” Elder said.
Police will be very pro-active in Biloxi to make sure people obey the rule of staying behind the barricades.