The Gulf Coast is now recovered from the ravages of Katrina and the BP oil spill and is now celebrating Mardi Gras in communities large and small.
Here's the video:
From Mobile to New Orleans and all in between, the fun starts as early as two weeks before the Fat Tuesday final day before Lent and if you time a visit right down here, you can take in Mardi Gras parades every day and many a night. RV parks are all along the coast in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and this time of year, when the weather can still be slightly unpredictable, there are lots of vacancies.
We made our way to the town of Gautier, MS and Shepard State Park, part of a group of two dozen plus Roadtrekers from all across the country invited down here for fun and food and Mardi Gras festivities at an event called “Pogo’s Smokin’ on the Bayou.”
Pogo – real name Paul Konowalchuk Pogorzelski (see why we just call him Pogo?) – really lives on a Bayou that connects to the Gulf of Mexico. He timed the event for the town of Gautier’s big Mardi Gras night parade.
Not that we needed an excuse.
Pogo and his wife Vicki opened their hearts and home to us – even finding a way to squeeze a dozen Roadtreks in a vacant lot two doors down. Of course it didn't hurt that his next door neighbor Gordon Gollott, just happens to be the mayor of Gautier (pronounced Go-shea), a town of 18,000. The mayor even invited me to ride on the official town float at the night Mardi Gras parade.
The local industry here is shipbuilding (that's what Pogo does) and the local passtime is hospitality.
The weather was typical for this time of year. Temperatures reached the low seventies a couple of times but we had lots of rain one day. And lots of fun all the time.
We had so much fun we convinced Pogo to make this an annual event. And next year, we're thinking about getting our own float for the parade. Towed by a Roadtrek, of course.
Scroll down to see more photos and click the video above for a look at the night parade. To make plans to join us for next year or see the general chatter about this gathering and other Roadtreking topics, be sure to visit our Facebook Group.