One of the things that I absolutely love about living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is how mild the winter is. Yes, we had to bring our plants in December because there are a few days that will get below freezing, but on the whole not many. Our plants will be able to comfortably go back out on the porch in a couple of weeks, and I know they will be happy about that! About a year or so ago, we had snow and ice – enough ice (about half an inch) to close schools for three days…simply because we don’t get that kind of weather here often, and it really is just better if we decide to not get out in it. I’ve lived places where you get feet of snow, and I’ll take a Gulf Coast Winter any day.
Because our winters are so mild, we can do things like go to a Mardi Gras parade in shorts and a t-shirt…if we want. I’ve brought you a few pictures of the Ocean Springs Krewe of Elks parade, but there are always more. With highs near 60, and plenty of sunshine, this is what winter often looks like on the Coast.
It’s not a parade without the police on their motorcycles to kick things off or plenty of flags. With so many communities and counties across the Coast, there are plenty of officers to take part in the parade. And with three military bases along the Coast, we have plenty of flag corps to join in the parades as well. I believe the above group is from Keesler Air Force base here on the Coast.
And on the Coast…or in New Orleans…it’s not a parade without throws. Beads, koozies, toys, doubloons, moon pies. All kinds of wonderful goodness that we all scramble for, no matter what our age.
(note the cigarette. Most parade riders are also drinking. There’s a reason for the bigger floats having a port-a-pot as a key feature)
Children are staples on the floats in these smaller parades. Unless it is a children’s parade, you won’t see kids riding the floats in New Orleans, but come on down to the Gulf Coast, and it’s a family affair from the streets to the rides.
But it’s not just the kids. Parades are for those who have been riding for decades. (The Ocean Springs parade has rolled for 40 years)
Most people on the floats are dressed up because Mardi Gras gives us an excuse to bring out our alter egos. If you’re not normally flamboyant, Mardi Gras is your chance to live it up.
It takes all kinds for a Mardi Gras parade on a winter’s day – even those who are spreading the gospel, tossing out bibles instead of beads.
And no parade is complete with out some dancers. These tiny dancers, who by the time they got to us near the end of the parade route, had been out there shaking their groove thangs and walking for hours. But they were still bringing it, and you have love that.
What does a winter’s day look like where you are? Have you been enjoying some sunshine and warmth or have you been buried under the furies of Juno and her brother?
This post is in response to a prompt from Kat Bouska, as part of her Writing Prompts for 2/3/2015 and is part of Treasure Tromp’s Treat Yo’ Self Thursday.