Krewe of Real People parade through Bay St. Louis

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They were keeping it real this Fat Tuesday in Bay St. Louis with the Krewe of Real People Parade rolling down the streets of Old Town this afternoon. It’s a parade with deep roots here in South Mississippi, starting off decades ago as the Zulu Parade then Krewe of Diamonds and just last year morphing into the Krewe of Real People.

Some dressed to the nines, showing off fancy footwork at this parade of real people from all walks of life.

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From royalty like this year’s king and queen Marcus and Ashlee Singleton who headed up the procession to others loud and not too proud to beg for beads.

Then there were those who were making their first appearance at this Bay St. Louis parade. Family and friends stationed in their same spot on the route for decades, but on this Fat Tuesday celebrating newcomer Ollie Wade’s inauguration to this family tradition before things got rolling. Parade attendee Rebecca Gourley said, “Ollie was born dead smack in the middle of Mardi Gras season, and all of the parades took up all of the weekends, except for St. Patrick’s Day, so we decided to do his birthday party at a Mardi Gras parade this year.”

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Parade attendee Cyndi Kwilas said, “Just wave your hands, scream, and dance around.”

Parade attendee Wanda Johnson said, “You’ve got to yell and run and say ‘throw me something mister!’”

The Siegmunds from South Carolina have their own bead catching strategy, unified on the parade route, but they’re a house divided when it comes to this. Diane Siegmund said, “The more layers the better. The more you can take off, the more you get. The more you have on the less you take off.” Sig Siegmund said “I ain’t taking my clothes off. It’s too cold.”

But one thing can be agreed upon this Fat Tuesday, that young or old, a good time was had by all.