Children get festive at mall Mardi Gras parade

Published 12:01 am Sunday, February 3, 2008

NATCHEZ — While the big floats may have rolled through town Friday, several of the Miss-Lou’s smaller citizens put on their own parade at the Natchez Mall Saturday.

Gearing up for the circuit around the mall’s concourse in her pink Power Wheels Ford Mustang, which pulled a Disney princess-themed float behind it, Casey Lee, 5, was excited.

“We’re going to have a parade, and whoever wins the contest is going to get a prize,” she said.

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And Lee was determined.

“I think I’m going to win,” she said.

Meanwhile, back at the end of the parade procession, Bryan Reid, 10, was pulling a red wagon decked out in Mardi Gras streamers and balloons, filled with cups of beads and a king cake.

Reid said after attending Friday’s parade, he knew what his favorite part of Mardi Gras is — “catching stuff.”

And while Reid may have caught his share of stuffed animals and beads on Friday, Saturday night it was his turn to throw beads.

As the procession made its way around the mall, merchants, employees and shoppers all paused to catch the beads and candy thrown by the kids.

At the end of the parade — and perhaps despite the royal pains Lee took — the prize was awarded to Emily and Jacob O’Bryant.

Riding in a “Krewe of Jesus”-themed float bearing a cross on its front, Emily, 11, was in street clothes, but Jacob, 6, was decked out in a costume as none other than the dark knight himself — Batman.

Why, he said, was simple.

“Because it’s a parade,” he said. “I gotta wear a costume for a real parade.”

The Fun Tunnel hosted the Mardi Gras parade and costume contest for kids at the request of mall management, Bayou Gaming employee Sandy Peterson said.