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Parades set to roll under chance of rain

There's a 50-50 chance of rain on Coast Mardi Gras parades today, but the latest available weather forecasts haven't stopped thousands of revelers from staking out spots along parade routes in Biloxi and Bay St. Louis, where parades are set to roll at 1 p.m.

The chance of rain since last night has increased from 40-percent, according to the National Weather Service, which forecasts an even greater chance of rain tonight, when the Gulfport parade rolls at 5:30 p.m.

Crowds in downtown Biloxi are ready for the Gulf Coast Carnival Association parade, in its 103rd year, to be followed by a smaller parade by the Krewe of Neptune. The Krewe of Diamonds in the Bay is geared up to stop by its reviewing stand in front of the new Hancock County Courthouse.

The Krewe of Gemini, in its 42nd year, is set to roll before sunset in downtown Gulfport. Parade officials said an increased chance of rain won't stop the parade from rolling.

Sun Herald photographers and reporters will be at all the parades for extensive coverage in pictures and stories. Check back at to see how Fat Tuesday panned out for the official end of the 2011 Carnival season.