Parade takes city into outer space

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2000

The Krewe of Alpheus parade rolled a few minutes late Friday night, but what it lacked in punctuality, it more than made up for in inventive and elaborate floats.

Throngs lined the barricades along Main, Commerce and Franklin streets in downtown Natchez at 6:30 p.m. to watch the parade, The Mystic Krewe of Alpheus, Odyssey 2000.

Judges Dianne Kirby of Diane’s Frame Shop on Franklin Street and Stratten Hall Nelson of Access Travel on Main Street both admitted their decision for best float would be a difficult one.

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&uot;These have been the best floats I’ve ever seen,&uot; said Kirby. &uot;It’s so hard to judge.&uot;

Nonetheless, the judges were charged with picking the best float from a field of 35 based on appearance, originality and enthusiasm.

Once the decision was made, it was to be called into parade coordinator Kim Britt, who will announce the winner at tonight’s Grand Ball.

With themes from &uot;The X-Files,&uot; &uot;Star Wars,&uot; &uot;Back to the Future&uot; and &uot;Star Trek,&uot; the floats were crowd pleasers.

&uot;The ‘Star Wars’ float was gorgeous because of its detail,&uot; said parade watcher Matilda Stephens near the old Britton & Koontz Bank on Main Street.

Fay Minor standing nearby on Main Street was impressed with the &uot;Back to the Future&uot; float for its detailed rendering of the car from the film on the front of the float.

Fred Avery said he drove in from Brookhaven for the parade and enjoyed the bands from his folding chair on Commerce Street.

Carl Anthony Lewis watched the parade from Franklin Street and wore a heavy mass of beads around his neck. &uot;It was great!&uot; he said. &uot;Look at me!&uot;

Lewis’ sister Katisha Lewis said she liked the bands, while another sister, Kesondra Lewis, enjoyed the whole experience.

&uot;I thought the parade was spectacular because of the floats, bands and costumes,&uot; she said.