Mardi Gras madness in Pass Christian

Pass Christian’s parade is one of the oldest on the Coast and thousands of people head to the small town every year to celebrate Mardi Gras.

“Chaotic, it was very chaotic. There were people all over the place.” That’s how Toni Gilbert, a cashier at Keith’s Superstore, describes what her store looked like during the Pass Christian Mardi Gras Parade, the stores busiest day of the year. “We only let so many people in at a time and people line up outside of the door and that way we can have control over what is going on.”

Normally, there is only about 5,700 people in the City of Pass Christian, but on parade day that number multiplies by eight and as you can imagine that’s a lot of beads to clean up. Pass Christian Mayor Chipper McDermott said, “We have a sweeper that will be coming out there and once that makes one or two passes and now that the streets are clear of barricades, it will clear up pretty fast. The only time it takes longer is when it goes into private yards which we can’t go into. So, the whole total cleanup will take just a few days except for remnants that are not where we can get to them.”

Officials have the cleanup to a science. After all, the parade started more than a century ago. “Well, we have been having it for a long time and we are going to continue to have it and we have a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work, a lot of work getting ready for it and a lot of work after it’s over with, but it’s worth it.”

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