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2012 Waveland, Mississippi Mardi Gras Parade: Ride Report

WOW!! The Krewe of Nereids Parade in Waveland, Mississippi was an awesome experience! Twenty trike pilots and two velonauts captured the attention of thousands of parade watchers, and the parade judges, with another First Place Trophy! Way to go everyone!!

The weekend began on Saturday with a cruise around the area led by Cap’n Johnny and Beth. In spite of a cold, stiff, northerly breeze, folks enjoyed the twenty mile tour and especially the hot chocolate afterwards, reports Cap’n Johnny. Lane & I drove down Saturday afternoon to join most of the group at Steve’s Marina in Longbeach for a fantastic seafood dinner and some great fellowship. The place was packed, but we were able to get two large tables for everyone there. We toured some of the area on the way back to the Knight’s Inn before turning in early to prepare for the big day Sunday.

Folks began to arrive around 9:00 AM Sunday to load their trikes with the four cases of black and gold beads, and the 2500 wooden nickels we had ordered with our logo printed on them. It seemed like a lot of throws, but as it turned out, was not nearly enough! Captain Johnny, our personal ride leader for this event, held us all back till everyone was ready. We then pedaled about a mile to the first staging area where we were told to get in close behind last year’s first place float. We found an open area and waited a while, then started moving. The excitement dropped down a notch as we made it about a mile down Hwy 90, crossed over to the eastbound lane, and found we had to wait again! However, here we had a huge float upwind of us with a massive sound system! Acclimating to the earth shaking popular groove sounds blasting from the many speakers on the float, most folks were moving to the music in no time. Some riders left the waiting area to practice drills, and generally warm up in the cold, but tolerable temperatures.

There seemed to be hundreds of floats in the parade, and it took us a while to get going. Parade watchers were asking for beads and tokens, most politely, and just a few, more aggressively. The Waveland folks were all very thankful that we came down for their parade and were really intrigued with our machines. The beads went fast, then the nickels. Beth’s trailer had been loaded with 100 pounds of beads and decorations, but was emptied in the first hour of the parade. The time went fast, even though it took about 1 hour per mile! At the end of the parade, Johnny led us back to the hotel without incident right down Hwy 90. We rode in the right lane because the shoulder was littered with thousands of the cheaper, discarded beads, making for a rough ride.

We cannot say enough good things about Beth and Johnny! What a great team to have on our side! Johnny had everything organized and was a most excellent ride leader! Beth is the best RideSouth cheerleader and decorator in the world! We have some excellent pics and video we will publish soon. Everyone was instrumental in our victory and we thank all of you that participated and helped!! Everyone vowed to return next year with more beads to give out! We were especially glad to provide some publicity and support to a recovering community. We hope to visit the area much more often and hope you will join us soon. Maybe we will convince a few more folks in the area that the folks at RideSouth know the way to have fun, and really do know . . . The Way to Ride!!