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Revelers aboard the City of Orange Beach float toss throws to the crowd during the Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. About 10,000 people lined Gulf Shores Parkway just after 10 a.m. It rained off and on during the parade. (Brian Kelly/bkelly@al.com) gallery (37 photos)
GULF SHORES, Alabama -- Thousands of parade-goers lined Gulf Shores Parkway under on-and-off rain to catch some beads for the Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday Parade.
GULF SHORES, Alabama -- Thousands of people, snowbirds, locals and tourists, flocked to the Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Parade in Gulf Shores. The parade's first float passed south to the beach on Gulf Shores Parkway just after 10 a.m. with a light rain falling. Then a heavier rain came but that persisted for only a few moments, forcing many to reach for the umbrella around 10:15.
By the time the official City of Orange Beach float passed down the parkway, the rain had let up once again, and the beads were flying. Eric Miller, 64, of Iowa, already had a good collection of beads dripping around his neck.
It seemed Miller's strategy was to wait for folks to preoccupied with taking refuge from the rain. "When it (the rain) got heavy for a moment, a lot of people used one hand to hold an umbrella or tended to their kids. I had both hands and started grabbing beads. I think it paid off," Miller yelled, holding up his cache.He and other parade-goers did quite well with grabs from more than one dozen other floats that participated including Lulu's at Homeport float, Kutter's float and American Legion of Gulf Shores float, Sunny 105.7 caravan, plus many boats and flatbeds carrying revelers tossing goodies. One of the most popular (and nearly last) floats is the Gulf Breeze Resort. A walker with the float said it held 60 revelers, 20 riders over last year's same parade.
At the final moments of the parade, the rain once again began chasing many to their cars before heading a few miles west to Orange Beach for its Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Parade.

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