Hibernia Irish Marching Society paints Biloxi green for St. Patrick’s Day parade

The transition from Mardi Gras to St. Patrick’s Day is pretty smooth around here.
Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 8:56 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The transition from Mardi Gras to St. Patrick’s Day is pretty smooth around here.

All you have to do is change colors, add a few healthier throws and play slightly different music. For example, look no further than Saturday’s parade as the Hibernia Irish arching Society’s annual parade drew crowds to downtown Biloxi.

The parade included people from around the country - like Dianne and Dan Sperfslage from Iowa.

“This is the 14th or 15th year we’ve done this,” Dan said. “We go every year to a different state for St. Patrick’s Day.”

As part of the deal with their friends, they all dress alike. It takes some planning - and a lot of space.

“The wardrobe is huge because we have matching outfits - all six of us - for every day that we’re gone,” Dianne said. “This time, we’re going to be gone like 10 or 12 days. So, we have lots of luggage.”

The parade had about 80 units participating throughout the route, which was slightly different from last year to help provide more exposure to businesses.

The experience met expectations - especially the Louisiana residents.

“We are Irish,” said Lana Simoneaux of Louisiana. “We have Irish in us and we are excited to see it. And, we’re looking for some sweet men around here.”

“And it’s my birthday! This is the first time it has fallen on my birthday,” added sister-in-law Michelle Bougeois.

Louisiana residents Rachel Trahan and Denise Guidry simply love the atmosphere.

“We just love being festive,” Guidry said. “We love the people. We always feel welcome here and we have a great time. We never leave disappointed.”

“We never meet a stranger, like we always say,” said Trahan.

Friend Whitney Gray agreed.

“Everybody dresses up. Everybody has fun,” she said. “You get all the different beads. You get, you just get all the fun things. And everybody’s nice. It’s just like being in a neighborly place. A friendly place.>

Grand Marshal was Charles Nannery. Colleen was Stacy Thurnelis.

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