Mardi Gras on parade: Spaces available for floats for annual Mardi Gras parade

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

FLOAT AWAY: Spectators watch as Mardi-Gras inspired floats move down Highway 11 during last year's parade. Saturday's parade will end at Applebee's with a post-parade party. File photo.

FLOAT AWAY: Spectators watch as Mardi-Gras inspired floats move down Highway 11 during last year’s parade. Saturday’s parade will end at Applebee’s with a post-parade party. File photo.

The colors of purple, green and gold will be on full display as locals march across Picayune during the fourth annual Krewe of the Pearl parade on Saturday, celebrating Mardi Gras Day, which falls on Feb. 9.

The krewe’s captain, Beth Lenoir, chairs the committee responsible for hosting the Mardi Gras ball and parade. Tina Stockstill serves as co-captain. Lenoir said this year’s theme is A Night in Venice. The krewe held the annual ball on Jan. 9 and the parade is the icing on the king cake.

“The parade and the ball allow fellowshipping with each other and being a community as a whole and participating with each other and supporting our organizations. The event also helps support our local merchants,” Lenoir said.

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Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday celebrated annually by large Roman Catholic populations, dating back thousands of years to fertility rites and pagan spring. The holiday is celebrated before the religious season of Lent, according to the History Channel. Due to Picayune’s close proximity to New Orleans, which hosts numerous public festivities, the krewe holds a parade to celebrate the occasion.

The parade, sponsored by the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce and Greater Picayune Arts Council, begins at 2 p.m. on Jan. 16. The krewe is currently accepting applications for float and parade participants.

The parade will begin on Goodyear Boulevard and continue east and turn left on Main Street followed by a right onto 4th Street. After turning onto 4th Street, the route will turn southbound on Highway 11 and make a left onto Memorial Boulevard. The parade will end at Applebee’s located at 715 Memorial Blvd. with a post-parade party.

Interested parties can register for the parade at the Chamber office located at 201 Highway 11 North or by calling chamber staff at 601-798-3122.

Lenoir hopes to have a good turnout Saturday.

“Every year, the parade keeps growing. This year, Christmas was close so that was a challenge, and we’re hoping we have a good attendance,” Lenoir said.

For more information about the krewe, visit their Facebook page at Krewe of the Pearl.