Alpheus parade sends beads, goodies flying

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 27, 2011

NATCHEZ — Screams for beads, wild costumes, party music and thoroughly decked-out floats rolled through downtown Natchez Saturday for the annual Mystic Krewe of Alpheus parade.

Families and groups of friends lined the streets by the hundreds for a chance to catch beads, toys and cups and take in the Mardi Gras revelry.

“It’s like a big homecoming,” said Mary Lees Wilson, owner of One of a Kind gift shop on Main Street. “People come from all over to Natchez for the parade. I started my shop in Vicksburg, and there was nothing between Christmastime and Easter. I know this is a big boost to the economy in Natchez. It’s not a huge parade, but it’s great.”

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Wilson said she knows a family that builds their vacation time around Mardi Gras season in Natchez.

Trey McConnell of Pensacola, Fla., said he’s come for the parade three times.

“It’s different from New Orleans,” McConnell said. “There isn’t nudity or throw-up in the streets. Everyone here is calmer and nicer.”

Natchez High School sophomore Jeremiah Dent said he has been coming to the parade since he was born.

“I really like some of the beads this year,” he said.

“I saw some New Orleans Saints beads, teddy bears, cups and footballs being thrown from the floats. It’s a lot of fun.”

Adams County Board of Supervisors Board President Darryl Grennell served as grand marshal of the parade.

Also included were floats from the Krewe of Fat Mama’s, Bug Busters, Schlitz and Giggles, Krewe of Phoenix, Krewe of Rays, Krewe of Friends, Krewe of Janus, Krewe of Has-Beens, Krewe of Crude, Krewe of Natchez Indians, Krewe of Friday, Krewe of Mayhem, Krewe of Ice Queens and Krewe of St. John.

The next Natchez parad — Krewe of Phoenix — rolls at 5 p.m. Friday.