Vicksburg knows how to throw a party
Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 8, 2015
An estimated 4,300 people lined Washington Street to watch the floats and catch the assorted throws of beads, stuffed animals, cups, moon pies and other treasures that filled the air from 14th edition of Vicksburg Main Street’s Mardi Gras parade.
Award-winning local artist Leslie Silver reigned over the parade as queen, wearing beads holding a medallion saying, “It’s Good to be the Queen,” a purple robe and a crown she and a friend fashioned from purple duct tape and poster board and accented with bottle caps. She also had a hand for waving and a scepter made by her daughter.
“I was feeling kind of strange about this until they put this cape on me, wrapped a purple boa around me and gave me this necklace,” she said. “Now I’m fine. What a beautiful day this is.”
The floats and assorted vehicles covering the route whipped the crowd into a frenzy, especially the Danny Hearn Trucking Company’s float when it released a cloud of balloons on Washington Street and used a compressed air gun that fired throws high in the air.
“I was very proud of the turnout,” Main Street executive director Kim Hopkins said. “Everyone had a good time and the weather was beautiful.”
The weather seemed special ordered just for the parade with the temperature near 70 degrees at the start.
When the parade was over many people wandered a few blocks away to the tree-shaded south side of Crawford Street where cauldrons boiled and bubbled, sending the aroma of sausage, chicken, duck, seafood and other delicious scents over and through the throng of.
The Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation’s fourth annual Carnaval de Mardi Gras and Gumbo Cook-off at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center drew an estimated 1,500 people.
“It’s been so exciting to see the people come in and enjoy the gumbo,” foundation executive director Nancy Bell said. “We had 15 cooks participating. Everyone is happy.”
Alissa Miller, who was still dressed in the costume she wore on a float in the earlier Mardi Gras parade, pronounced the gumbo “great. We need more things like this in the community.”
Keily McKellar, who was handling two cups of gumbo — one for a friend — agreed.
“This is wonderful. They need to come up with more things like this for the community to get people out,” she said. “I’m having a wonderful time.”
Vicksburg knows how to throw a party and Saturday was proof. The weather was beautiful and the party was family friendly.