Krewe of Alpheus parade set for Feb. 13

Published 11:49 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

NATCHEZ — ‘Tis the season to party.

The real day is closer to the end of the month, but on Feb. 13 the Mystic Krewe of Alpheus will kick off the Mardi Gras season with its parade at 6:30 p.m.

Because it is a mystic krewe, everyone who is in the parade is supposed to be masked or have their faces painted, Parade Chairman Alphonse Coco said.

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The theme of the parade will be “Unlucky in Love,” and krewe members will be disguised as celebrities who are not always successful in their love lives.

The main goal of the Mystic Krewe is to have fun, Coco said.

“It was designed to be a more laid back krewe, a little less regimented, a little easier to have a good time,” he said.

The parade will line up on Broadway Street, proceed to North Canal Street and travel toward Main Street.

After turning on Main Street against the normal flow of traffic, the parade will travel to Commerce Street, where it will turn left and continue to Franklin Street.

The parade will travel down Franklin Street back to Broadway Street, where it will end.

The following Friday, Feb. 20, the Krewe of Phoenix will join in the revelry with their own parade at 5 p.m.

The theme will be “Island Fever,” and the Grand Marshal will be Natchez Mayor Jake Middleton.

This is the first year the parade will be at 5 p.m.

That change was made at the request of the local schools, because when the parade was hosted at 4 p.m., to accommodate the bussing schedules the school band members had to be dropped off for the parades very early, Parade Chairman Curtis Moroney said.

The later starting time will also help relieve the burden on the downtown merchants, because parade barricades will not have to go up as early, leaving the streets unblocked longer, Moroney said.

But having the parade later will also help the party atmosphere.

“After the parade at 4 p.m., it was finished at 5 p.m., and that’s maybe a little early to head to whatever party you’re going to,” Moroney said. “It lends itself more for rolling from the parade to wherever you are going.”

The parade will line up on Broadway Street, turn onto Canal Street at Fort Rosalie and travel to Main Street, where it will turn onto Main contrary to the normal flow of traffic.

Once on Main Street, the parade will travel to Rankin Street rather than following its traditional course of turning on Commerce Street.

“Basically, we’re stretching it out by four blocks,” Moroney said.

The parade will travel on Rankin Street to Franklin Street, where it will return on Broadway Street.