Gulf Coast Carnival Association traces its roots back to 1908 and Biloxi’s first Mardi Gras parade, which included 17 floats, 50 flambeau carriers, the new 12-piece Herald Newspaper Band, a grand marshal, the mayor and the councilmen. The monarchs were the first King d’Iberville and Queen Ixolib.
Eight years later, The Biloxi Carnival and Literary Association was incorporated. Its purpose: “to promote the study of literature and particularly Greek mythology, by artistic floats representing Greek mythology and historic events.”
In 1929, the Biloxi celebration expanded to include other Coast cities, and around 1949 the Biloxi Carnival and Literary Association became the Gulf Coast Carnival Association. Biloxi’s Mardi Gras has been celebrated every year except for the following years:
- Thru the 1920’s and 1930’s the laws of prohibition and the Great Depression took its toll but the parades still rolled.
- In 1942 it was cancelled during the war.
- In 2002, the terror of 9/11/2001 still loomed, but the parades rolled with armed soldiers in the streets and helicopters in the air.
- In 2006, the horrible devastation and complete destruction of Hurricane Katrina from August 2005, left hundreds of thousands homeless, business gone, and an economy crippled, yet the people of the coastal states vow to upholding the tradition.
Today the Carnival Association continues the tradition begun years ago, with King d’Iberville and Queen Ixolib reigning over parades in Biloxi on Fat Tuesday.
Below is a list of the Past Programs from our Coronation Ball.