Mardi Gras parades are in full swing, with several parades scheduled for the weekend.
While parades can be entertaining, they also can be stressful, especially for seniors who have trouble navigating large crowds.
Some parades, such as the recent one by the Orange Grove Carnival Association, are trying to make the parades more fun for seniors this Carnival season.
"We had a special area just for seniors and people in nursing homes," OGCA krewe member Leon Sootin said. "We wanted for people from area nursing homes to be able to enjoy the parade, so we had an area just for them with a roped-off parking area for seniors."
With several parades left this season, Gulfport police Sgt. Damon McDaniel said seniors should use some common sense at any parade, regardless of the location.
"Unfortunately, when you get in a large crowd of people, much like Mardi Gras parades, there's always the threat of the criminal element being around you," he said. "I recommend leaving your valuables at home and not bringing them to the parade with you. If you have to bring cash with you, keep it in your front pocket -- do not put your wallet or cash in your back pocket."
Although collecting beads is one of the high points for many people at parades, McDaniel said to use caution when attempting to collect souvenirs.
"You have to be careful if you're going to try and catch beads, especially at the larger parades," he said. "In large crowds, it can be an easy way to injure yourself or get trampled."
McDaniel said advance planning could make the difference in having a safe, fun time at the parade.
"If you know what parades you want to attend, whether they are day or night parades, learn the parade routes and figure out where you would like to watch them," he said. "Go ahead and check for parking and have a plan to get to your spot and a plan to get out once the parade is over."