LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - For a while Saturday, Laurel's Beacon Street looked more like New Orleans' Bourbon Street, as the City Beautiful welcomed its first Fat Tuesday parade to downtown. The inaugural Apollo Mardi Gras Parade featured dozens of floats, the Laurel High School Marching Band and lots of folks wearing purple, gold and green beads.
It was a fundraiser for the Helping Hands of Mississippi Foundation. Many of the folks who stood along the streets to watch it said it was a great event for the city to host.
"I'm excited that Laurel's got its first annual Mardi Gras Parade," said Donna Holifield, one of the people attending the event. "I think it will be great. You see the people that's out here, I mean everybody is excited," she said.
"I feel it's a good community and it's a good thing to do this," said Kirby Newton, a Laurel native who also watched the parade. "They need to do this every year, it's a good turnout and everything," he said.
"I believe it's going to help the economy and all in Laurel, I believe it will," said Ray Holifield, also of Laurel. "A lot of people will be coming around I believe, spending money for the Laurel economy and it needs it," he said.
The Fat Tuesday parties are just getting started.
Next Saturday, Hattiesburg will host its 4th annual Caerus Mardi Gras Parade.