The Orange Beach Parade started way back when as a loose confederation of groups, large and small, that wanted to parade by the beach.

More than 20 years ago, the city of Orange Beach stepped in and took over the planning of the parade. It's still open to participation by just about anybody, even groups from outside of Orange Beach.

The Mystics of Pleasure contribute to the parade, and so do smaller groups from Foley to Perdido Key. Even groups that parade in Gulf Shores earlier in the day move up the road to be in the Orange Beach procession.

Typically, these days, there's about 55 units in the Fat Tuesday afternoon parade, and about 30,000 people gather along the two-mile stretch of Perdido Beach Boulevard to stand in the rain of throws.

This year, the Orange Beach Parade will roll, of course, on Mardi Gras Day, February 13, at 2 p.m.

 Orange Beach Parade