Above: Justin McGuf McGuffee with Debbie at lunch. The Gulf is famous for its shrimp and we pigged out.
Above: The Doobie Brothers live at the Hard Rock.
Right: Bobby and Beau Carter.
Right: The gangg in front of ouur floatt.
Above: Melissa Fischer was in charge of drinks on our float. Left: Karl Anderson and the girls show off some beads they picked up.
A Above: The coronation of the Mardi Gras king aand queen.
Left: Chris and Melissa Fischer and Deona show off the girls masks.
LLeft: Hanging beads on the float.
Later that L h evening we found ourselves at a beautiful reception at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. An exceptional museum one must certainly see when in the area. We were amazed at the “Mad Potter of Biloxi,” George Ohr’s innovative ceramics that were made at the turn of the century (1900) that have become a central part of the artistic heritage of the gulf south, and the broader canon of American art. The museum is just west on Highway 90 from the Isle and Grand. On Monday during the day we got to spend time with the people who help us with the National Championship and the Kingmaster. Again the evening was reserved with more Mardi Gras activities. We were transported to the Mississippi Coast Convention Center for dinner and were greeted by the King of Mardi Gras. Immediately following dinner we walked to the dome area of the Center where the Krewe members April 2011 | ANGLER
gathered in all their regalia for the Gulf Coast Carnival Association Mardi Gras Tableau. This was truly a sight to behold. The costumes, made exclusively for this event, were dazzling and the pageantry exciting. This was a part of the Mardi Gras events most people don’t get to see. It was a real treat! We woke on Tuesday morning with the threat of rain; just what we didn’t need to put a damper on all the work to make the parade thousands lined the streets to witness. We were to meet at the parade grounds just north of the downtown Biloxi area by eleven. As we parked our vehicle at the Hard Rock, we were amazed at the large spectator crowd already staking out
t their territtory. Justin was waiting w for us as we fo foound our flloat already in n line and looaded with beads, w ffood, and of course lots of drink. What would Mardi Gras be without drink? The hardest part of the time in Biloxi was the wait for the parade to begin but the cast of characters coming by our float looking for theirs was interesting. There were over 160 floats in the parade. That’s a lot of beads to hand out! With the speakers blaring out rock and roll tunes on our float, at 1:45 we made the turn onto the parade route. For the next two and a half hours we worked our butts off throwing beads, re-stocking the pegs that we hung the beads on, and generally trying to please the
Deona gets to meet the King of Mardi Gras.
throngs who lined the parade route. It was a real hoot and Deona and I finally got to experience a part of the deep south’s history. After the parade we wound up the final evening at Mary Mahoney’s, the best seafood restaurant in Biloxi, located across the street from the Hard Rock. Whenever you come to this part of the world a visit isn’t complete without a sit down at this great restaurant. It was a great trip and one we’ll never forget. We not only got to cross off another item on our bucket list but we got to spend time with old friends from the marine industry and Biloxi, we even got to do some business for our upcoming events. Whether you’re coming to Biloxi for the Kingmaster or the Championship, you really need to take a day or two and go see what Biloxi and its genuine charm has to offer. You really won’t be disappointed! ■ 13
Official publication of the Southern Kingfish Association