Pass celebrates 100 years of parades
By Cassandra Favre
Feb 28, 2014, 18:39
This year, the city of Pass Christian is celebrating 100 years of parading.
In a 1995 article, the late Adele Bielenberg, local teacher and historian, told the history of the Pass Christian Carnival Association.
Bielenberg remembered her first carnival ball when she was about three or four years old in 1900.
According to Bielenberg, the balls created so much interest in Mardi Gras that in 1913, a group of men organized the Pass Christian Carnival Association.
The men held their first parade in 1914, complete with a king's float and the other floats represented some of the states in the U.S. and some foreign countries.
The men decided to have another parade in 1915, which Bielenberg said seemed to be the last one held by the Pass Christian Carnival Association.
In 1930, the St. Paul Carnival Assoc. was formed and started out as a fund-raiser to benefit the St. Joseph School and the Sisters of Mercy who taught there.
St. Paul Carnival Assoc. President Rory "Robin" Rafferty said this year the krewe is bringing back doubloons.
"The doubloons will be gold and silver," Rafferty said. "The association's coat of arms will be pictured on them as well as the saying, "100 Years of Parading in the Pass."
Rafferty said his family has participated in the parades for years.
"This is my tenth year as president," Rafferty said, "and I just love it.
"My father and grandfather were king and I was king in 2003."
Pass Christian Mayor Leo "Chipper" McDermott said, "Make sure you get to the parade early for a good spot. Any place you feel comfortable."
"This parade has gotten bigger every year, it's survived wars, rumors of wars and infighting. That's great for a small town."
The 2014 king and queen are Michael O'Dwyer and Charlotte Christman.
"Our annual ball is Saturday, March, 1," Rafferty said. "The doors open at 7 p.m. and tableau begins at 8.
The parade rolls on Sunday March 3 at noon.
The parade starts on Highway 90 on the west side of the Pass Christian harbor, going east to Seal Avenue, then west to Henderson Avenue, then back to the harbor.
Visit the website at stpaulcarnival.com and on Facebook at St. Paul Carnival Association.