In Baldwin County, Gulf Shores kicked off Fat Tuesday 2020 with the first parade of the day. Thousands lined Highway 59 to get in on the fun. It was the 42nd annual parade there and the weather was great for it.
I asked a first-timer what she expected.
“Moon pies, lots of floats, lots of throws,” said Brenda Myrick from Orlando.
And, then I asked a Mardi Gras veteran why she comes to the Gulf Shores parade.
“It’s good. That’s why we’re here,” replied 86-year-old Lena Rowell with a smirk.
The Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade didn’t disappoint. With 36 entries, there were tons of throws for everyone. From beads to moon pies to fluffy, stuffed animals, if you wanted it, you’d better know how to yell and jump to get it.
The Mystic Order of Canine Kritters showed out. The lead dogs would probably have rather eaten moon pies that give them out, but their caretakers at Magnolia by the Gulf Veterinary Hospital took care of that part of it. The city of Orange Beach even came over to join in the fun. Their shipwrecked pirate ship has been a crowd favorite for years. Several RV resorts and other businesses also had entries and showed their hometown appreciation to the crowd.
Everyone has their own favorite throw and for young Camilla, that would be moon pies. Choosing her favorite flavor though…a little more difficult.
“Banana and chocolate,” Camilla said.
And with who does she share?
“Lucas and momma,” she said with a smile.
One thing shared by all in Gulf Shores was the Mardi Gras spirit of fun, family and friendship.
The parade went smoothly, but there were some public safety-related changes this year. The most notable change…the city used barricades along much of the parade route for the first time.