Krewe of Alpheus finally gets to throw a parade

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 23, 2003

NATCHEZ – “Throw me something, mister!”

That cry could still be heard at Sunday’s Krewe of Alpheus parade, just as it is in New Orleans.

But in the case of Natchez’s family-friendly parades, which attract sidewalks full of parents and children, the beads, cups and doubloons are thrown a bit lower – and all they’re lifting are their hands.

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The beads were the favorite attraction of Jay Vaughan, 6, of Ferriday, who contented himself with playing with friends on the sidelines until the parade came his way.

“My favorite part? Keeping up with the kids,” his father, Chris Vaughan, said, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. Then he was off to round children back to the safety of the sidewalk.

Just a few yards down Canal Street, Fay Allred of Natchez, her neck already adorned with oversized pearl beads, jumped up and down with excitement, waiting for the floats to come her way.

“It’s the people and the activity, the camaraderie – it’s just festive,” Allred said just minutes before the event began.

Grand Marshal Walt Grayson of WLBT-TV fame was already wearing plenty of beads when the event began – but he shared plenty with the crowd, too, with a smile.

So did Natchez Mayor F.L. “Hank” Smith, who led the parade, followed closely by Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland and Ferriday Mayor Glen McGlothin in a red convertible.

In keeping with the parade’s theme, “Superheroes,” Alpheus’ floats each celebrated a different comic book hero, including Spiderman, Superman and Batman.

King Alpheus XII, Carl David Sayers, and Queen Arethusa XII, Rebecca Hancock, presided over the parade dressed as Captain America and Wonder Woman, respectively.

The Krewe of Friday dressed in identical red, white and blue costumes, complete with capes. Their theme? “The Underdogs.”

Not every krewe dressed in keeping with the theme – although judging from the looks on the faces of children that caught beads, they were already superheroes.

Concordia’s Krewe of St. John, their float decorated with alligators, blew soap bubbles and threw beads to the tune of “Play that Funky Music, White Boy.”

The Krewe of Mer made their way through downtown with a float decorated in an Egyptian theme.

And although no capes or star-studded costumes were to be found, the Krewe of Pink Flamingos had a distinctive style of their own – hot pink feather boas, to be exact.

And the fun’s not over.

The Krewe of Phoenix’s Mardi Gras parade will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, with the theme “See You in the Funny Papers.” Its grand marshal will be actor, director and producer Stuart Margolin.