Beads, music and crazy costumes: Fort Mardi Gras parade lures colorful revelers

At the magic hour, before the sun set and street lights came on, a line of whimsical creatures stepped off Saturday for Fort Lauderdale’s first Mardi Gras parade.

Led by the Big Chief Brass Band playing “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In,” people dressed as sharks riding bicycles; fish playing ukuleles and honking on kazoos; sea horses; mermaids and jellyfish walked from Esplanade Park east along the city’s Riverfront to Southwest Third Avenue.

They were followed by a crowd that danced and wore gold, green and purple bead necklaces that were given out for free because, well, it’s just not a party without beads.

Big 105.9 radio personality Paul Castronovo was king of Fort Mardi Gras, as the celebration was called.

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