Gulf Coast Mardi Gras: Tammy Mercure at the 85th Pass Parade

Gulf Coast Mardi Gras: Tammy Mercure at the 85th Pass Parade

Last Carnival season we sent New Orleans photographer Tammy Mercure out into the field to document a few Mardi Gras parades on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With a little guidance from our Coastal friends, we're happy to present the second installment of her photo series, this time capturing the 85th Annual Pass Christian Mardi Gras Parade of the St. Paul Carnival Association — the "Pass Parade."

Happy Mardi Gras, Mississippi!

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    Mardi Gras has a breadth that one can only begin to understand after several full seasons and experiencing a variety of parades at various times in the season. 
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    The week before the Pass Parade is the Krewe of Nereids parade. Only a couple miles and seven days separate them, but they feel much different. 
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    While Nereids leans toward “fun for all ages” (though many of the throws and bumping tunes might seem a little crude to some) the Pass Parade is wild—a wild that for some will continue straight on through to Tuesday.
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    Crowds pack the downtown streets where the giant floats barely fit through and friends and family tailgate along Beach Boulevard.
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    The krewes are already well-oiled and are already dancing in the staging area. They keep loose the entire route. 
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    The revelry is complicated by the presence of symbols that welcome some, but not others, troubling our ideas of "Southern hospitality."
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It is easy to see the party isn’t stopping any time soon.

All the way to Fat Tuesday or bust. 

 
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    Some are bare chested with superhero logos painted on, some don the “Mardi Gras polos”, and others make something up with horns and glasses and glitter.

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    Giant duallys back up for entire frats or families to stand on the back.
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    It is easy to see the party isn’t stopping any time soon. All the way to Fat Tuesday or bust. 

The 86th Annual Pass Parade is on Sunday, February 7th, 2016. The parade rolls at noon, starting at the corner of Davis Avenue and Second Street in Pass Christian, then proceeds to Scenic Drive, then west to Henderson Avenue, north to St. Louis Street, east to Church Street, south to Second Street, then east to Davis Avenue.

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Jennifer Joy Jameson

Jennifer Joy Jameson

Jennifer Joy Jameson is the Folk and Traditional Arts Director at the Mississippi Arts Commission, and the Managing Editor for Mississippi Folklife. Read more about her under the Editors tab.