Hibernia parades Saturday in Biloxi

More than 40 floats – “as big as or bigger than those at Mardi Gras” – and marching bands from as far away as Yazoo City will be in the Hibernia Marching Society’s annual St. Patrick’s parade when it rolls in Biloxi on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Also scheduled to be in the procession are bagpipers, the Biloxi High Alumni Band, the Gulfport Seabee Base’s “bee” and dozens of other units.

“This has always been identified as a family parade,” says Don Cox, who has been parade chairman for several years and this year serves as Grand Marshal with Colleen Amber Romano.

The parade, Hibernia’s 24th annual, begins at the Biloxi Yacht Club, travels west on U.S. 90, north on Lameuse Street (where the street has been striped in green for the occasion), west on Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Boulevard, and south on Reynoir Street.

Cox appeared with his colleen at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting with some of Hibernia’s 300 members. Mayor A.J. Holloway, himself a former Hibernia Grand Marshall, proclaimed this week Irish Heritage Week.

Cox, meantime, said that the visit by the Yazoo City High School band and its entourage — who are traveling four hours to be in the Biloxi parade — just goes to prove that the parade is growing in popularity.

But, he adds, that doesn’t surprise him and his fellow Hibernians since everyone has an Irish connect. Says Cox: “We’ve always thought that there were two kinds of people in the world – people who are Irish and those who wish they were.”