OCEAN SPRINGS -- As the sun shone down, a crowd of about 35,000 helped kick off Carnival season in South Mississippi at the 39th annual Ocean Springs Elks Mardi Gras Parade.
"February parades are notorious for bad weather, but this year is a success," parade chairman Phil Quigley said.
Many of the floats were decked out in purple, green and gold -- and camo to go along with this year's Coastal "Duck Dynasty" theme.
Most paradegoers are local, but David and Katerina Manley are in Ocean Springs from the Czech Republic visiting David's family with their daughters, Sofie and Sara.
"I love the beach and the sunshine and this is the girls' first Mardi Gras," Katerina Manley said.
Larry Smith said he and his wife are visiting the Coast from Batesville. They heard about the parade and decided to see it for themselves, marking their first Mardi Gras celebration.
There are always sights to be seen at Mardi Gras parades. This year, mixed in the crowd of seasonally colored wigs and eccentric hats were a few Duck Dynasty beards.
Some of the best throws were large decorative beads, stuffed animals and plastic cups.
The parade, led by King Fidelity Ron Holland and Queen Charity Melissa Foster, strolled from the Ocean Springs Yacht Club through downtown and ended at Ocean Springs High School.