Krewe of Indians parade kicks off Mardi Gras

Published 12:10 am Thursday, February 5, 2015

By Sarah Cook

NATCHEZ — While New Orleans may hold claim to some of the most famous Mardi Gras celebrations, Natchez boasts its own time-honored traditions.

The annual Krewe of Natchez Indians parade is one of them.

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Kicking off the Bluff City’s Mardi Gras parade season, the 9-year-old krewe hits the streets at 6 p.m. Friday with beads, moon pies and festive masks in tow.

The theme of the night will be “a winter wonderland.”

Floats will line up on Broadway Street, turn on to Canal Street by the Rosalie mansion, then take a right on Main Street and head down Commerce Street.

“This is a great opportunity for people to get out of the house and enjoy the downtown area,” said Robert McNeely, krewe president.

Along with a parade, the krewe will also host several musical acts. The event will be enjoyable for residents young and old, McNeely said.

The Krewe of Natchez Indians, named for the Native American people who originally lived in the Natchez Bluffs area, has 35 members “and is growing,” McNeely said.

Melvin Greenwood of McComb is krewe king this year while Natchez-resident Juanita Hawkins serves as queen.

The Krewe of Natchez Indians is one of six krewes in Natchez. Krewe, pronounced the same way as “crew,” is an organization that hosts a parade or ball during the Mardi Gras season.

Fondly nicknamed “The Little Easy,” Natchez has several other carnival celebrations in store. The Krewe of Phoenix will host its annual parade 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13.

Krewe President Ryan Richardson said the parade is the culmination of the carnival season for the krewe, which has about 250 members.

“It’s what we look forward to all year,” she said.

All parades are open to the public and free to attend.