Harrison County

He stopped the entire parade. What he did next was why everyone had their cameras out.

It’s been a monumental year for the Krewe of Salacia. Saturday night was their first parade as a krewe, riding in the Krewe of Neptune parade in Biloxi.

Their inaugural parade was also marked by a proposal right on the parade route.

“I’ve been spending the past couple days leading up to the parade in the Scarlet Pearl getting ready, so it was the perfect opportunity for him to gather everyone and plan everything out,” said krewe member Vanessa Aucoin. “So many people knew. The driver of the float knew so he could stop at a certain spot. Half of the krewe knew about it. He got my friends involved, too.”

“It was sort of a last minute decision,” Greg Jones said. “Well, not last minute, but probably two weeks prior.”

Jones said the idea started as a joke from a friend, thinking it funny to stop the whole parade for the proposal.

“I thought it was actually a great idea, so I ran with it,” he said.

When Saturday finally arrived, there was only one word to describe the night: emotional.

Krewe of Salacia proposal 1 web
Vanessa Aucoin and Greg Jones got engaged during the inaugural Krewe of Salacia parade in downtown Biloxi on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. Vanessa Aucoin

“They were trying to pull me down to the bottom half of the float, then pull me off the float completely,” Aucoin said. “They kept saying, ‘You need to get off the float. You need to get off the float.’ I’m worried something happened with my 13-year-old son, so I start freaking out. Then my son runs up to me really happy, then I see all the cameras, and then I see my mom. That’s when I finally see Greg and he gets down and I know what’s going on.

“I went from scared to confused then relieved and a little mad they put me through all that, all in a matter of like two minutes.”

“When the float first stopped, I couldn’t find her,” Jones said. “I didn’t recognize her since everyone on the float is wearing masks and looks alike. Then the float starts moving and we’re running, chasing her down. We wouldn’t miss this opportunity.”

Jones and company did warn the police of their plans, so no one was alarmed at him approaching the float.

Less than 24 hours after the proposal, the couple is still reeling.

“All I know right now is I want an October wedding, but I don’t know if that will be this October or we have to wait until next year,” Aucoin said. “February and October are my favorite times of year, but that’s all I know right now.”

If the krewe has anything to say about it, the wedding might be on next year’s float.