Krewe of Alpheus parade rained out

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 26, 2008

NATCHEZ — On Friday night Alpheus, the Greek god of the river, butted heads with the god of rain — and lost.

His parade was canceled.

With temperatures in the 30s and steady rain, Friday’s weather was perhaps better suited for sitting by a warm fire. It was definitely not parade weather.

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At 6 p.m., when the parade would have started, the rain-soaked streets were completely empty.

The only people to be seen were clutching umbrellas and running for shelter as glittery face-paint ran down their necks.

As would-be riders came to grips with the news that the parade was canceled, an impromptu party of parade goers and riders formed at Bowie’s Tavern.

Alpheus’ chairman Alphonse Coco was there.

“We can’t really have a parade if no one is there to catch beads,” he said.

On Friday evening just after the parade was canceled, Coco said he was unsure of when the parade would be rescheduled.

“Obviously we want to get out there and ride,” he said.

Alpheus’ President Michael Puddister was also at Bowie’s when the official cancellation was made known.

Puddister said the Krewe will be working with the police department to reschedule the parade as quickly as possible.

But while Coco and Puddister contemplated the future of the parade outside the bar, those inside had a different goal in mind.

The mood inside Bowie’s was not that of a defeated group of parade goers.

It was an atmosphere than can only be reached when people realize they get an extra day to party.

Janis Schwager said she and her husband drove all the way from Houston for the Krewe of Alpheus parade.

“It always rains,” she said. “But now we’re just going to have a party.”

A group of women decked out in Afro wigs and flashing lights, who would have ridden in the parade, did not seem to mind the parade had even been canceled.

Mary Ann Carter was one of those Afro-sporting women.

“We are the Love Shack,” she said.

Love Shack is the name of the float that she and her cohorts have ridden on for the past six years.

Babs Price, another aficionado of the Afro, said she has been riding in Alpheus for more then a decade.

“I can’t even remember the last time it was canceled,” she said.

So even while the parade was rained out, the evening was not a total loss. Jessica Kemp, a waitress at Bowie’s, seemed eager for the extra customers.

“This should be pretty good for business,” she said.