GAUTIER -- Paying homage to the hit TV show "Duck Dynasty," Gautier's 24th Mardi Gras parade Saturday made many people happy, happy, happy.
"The weather is great," said parade coordinator Bill Whatley, who said 38 groups had entered the parade. "You couldn't ask for a better night."
Whatley, who said he has been doing Mardi Gras parades for 34 years, said the parade, sponsored by the Gautier Men's Club, was started to give Gautier residents their own parade. "We didn't have a parade," he said. "Pascagoula had one. Ocean Springs had one and we started this one."
Grand Marshal Sarah Bragg said the Gautier Men's Club's float was built in her backyard. "I've been here many years," she said. "It's a lot of fun."
The parade also featured a number of rookies in addition to the veterans. Amanda Hunt and her horse Cain were participating in their first parade. "He likes parades and likes to dress up," Hunt said. "I'm enjoying being here."
This was also Latara Hall's first parade. "You get to meet people from all over," she said. "There are a lot of smiles on people's faces as you hand out beads."
And fun, said Gautier Men's Club President Dan Hansford, was the goal. "There's never a dull moment," he said.