Mardi Gras parades are put on by special organizations called krewes, and often display decorated floats depicting various themes. Those who belong to the krewes ride on the floats, and usually throw a variety of trinkets to bystanders. As of 2011, the city of Biloxi's parades are recorded on a variety of online event guides, including gulf-coast.com and gulfcoast.org.
Parade Krewes in Biloxi
There are more than five different crewes in Biloxi, including the Krewe of Neptune, the Krewe of Pages, and the Krewe of Vesta, that prepare for and operate the city's parades. In some cases, such as the Gulf Coast Carnival Association krewe, it is possible for members of the community to apply for membership and assist in building floats -- with the ultimate benefit of being in the parade. Not all krewes hold their own parades; some simply design floats to be shown in larger parades in the city and region.
Oldest Parade in Biloxi
The Gulf Coast Carnival Association Mardi Gras Parade is reportedly the oldest parade in Biloxi and traces its roots in the city to 1908. This parade is typically held on Fat Tuesday and travels through downtown Biloxi. Managed by the Gulf Coast Carnival Association, the coronation ball for the parade's king is typically held the day before the parade.
Largest Parades In Biloxi
The Carnival on the Coast is one of the largest parades not just in Biloxi but in the region. It holds 23 parades and visits several cities, include the Mississippi cities of Long Beach and Gulfport in addition to Biloxi. Considered one of the top 20 events by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2010 and 2011, the carnival's parades throw various trinkets to bystanders, which often include beads, cups, doubloons, stuffed animals and moon pies. Another notable parade is the Second Liners Mardi Gras Club Parade, whose route typically starts at Nichols Elementary School with car-dran floats and candy tossess, and terminates at DC Bush Park. At the end of the parade, the club usually hosts a Mardi Gras Block Party that offers food and carnival games.
A themed parade for children, the Children's Mardi Gras Walking Parade, incorporates decorated strollers, skateboards wagons and bikes. Officially sponsored by the city of Biloxi, this parade also encourages children to enter costume and float contests for trophies and cash prizes.