Annual Twelfth Night Celebration Kicks off Carnival Season

The 2017 carnival season kicked off this evening with the annual Twelfth Night Celebration in Biloxi. News 25’s Kendra Turley gives us a look inside all of the action.
Say goodbye to Christmas trees and hello to Mardi Gras beads! Hundreds of people packed the Biloxi Visitor’s Center for the ancient Mardi Gras celebration of Twelfth Night. Gulf Coast Carnival Association Chairman Alwyn Lucky said, “Which is the symbolic transition from the Christmas time on to the lenting season, or as it means on the Gulf Coast, time for carnival.”
With a little help from Biloxi Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich, the 2016 King D’Iberville and Queen Ixolib marked the end of Christmas by turning off the holiday lights on the Biloxi Lighthouse.
After the Christmas lights have been turned off, carnival royalty hops on a float and parades down the road to turn on another set of lights, kicking off the beginning of Mardi Gras season right here on the Gulf Coast. Carnival season isn’t just about flashy lights. For some, it’s a time to reel in the big bucks. Bill Raymond with the Biloxi Historical Society said, “We got hundreds of thousands of people that will participate in the Mardi Gras season. That is a huge economic boost for this community.”
For others, it’s a time to break away from home. One Twelfth Night Celebration attendee said, “We came last year for the first time and we enjoyed it so much. We’re going to come back again.”
But for many, it’s a time to: “Party, party, party. I’m 68-years-old and I have not had the liberty to party unfettered in 68 years,” said Gulfport resident Linda Goforth.
If you missed out on the Twelfth Night Celebration, don’t feel bad. The Gulf Coast Carnival Association has plenty of events leading up to Mardi Gras day. “We do have a special event that is going to join carnival this year that I’m going to save as a teaser for next time, but it is going to be a very exciting addition to the Gulf Coast Carnival,” said Lucky.

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