The Mystic Krewe of Pine Island Mardi Gras parade will roll at 1 p.m., Feb. 18 in the rural river community on John’s Bayou in Vancleave.
Expect to see horses, pickup trucks, bicycles, four-wheelers and just about anything else that will roll. Except for 18-wheelers. The road on the 3-mile route is just too narrow and winding.
Several thousand people come to watch each year. Adults and children come up with innovative floats, even the occasional lawn mower. This year’s theme is Pine Before Time.
People in the community decided years ago to have a parade, so they decorated a tin can–dragging trailer with magnolia leaves and camellias. Growth was inevitable, and the Mystic Krewe of Pine Island formed to organize the annual parade.
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Longtime and now “retired” parade marshal J.R. “Richard” Wilson will rule as this year’s king, and Sallie Richardson, his wife, will be crowned queen before the parade rolls. Wilson has been heavily involved with Pine Island, now in its 27th year, from the beginning. The ceremony is the culmination of the noon pre-parade party on the southern end of John’s Bayou Road. Doc Knibbs is Pine Island’s new parade marshal.