Mardi Gras Parade on Panama City Beach

by January 26, 2009 • 6 comments

012609_mardigrasThe Krewe of Dominique Youx is Bay County’s original organization of over 185 members who have celebrated the festive Mardi Gras season here in Bay County for over 22 years.

According to custom, Shrove Tuesday (“Fat Tuesday” to the English-speaking settlers, “Mardi Gras” to the French) is the last day to indulge, or overindulge, before Lent and its 40 days of fasting.  The celebrations that take place before Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Mobile, and Galveston set off a carnival season that is notorious.

The Mardi Gras tradition came to Panama City in 1986 when a group of local residents headed by Errol Legasse and the late Jerry Castardo decided that we should not miss out on the excitement of Mardi Gras and formed the Krewe of Dominique Youx.

Dominique Youx is the nickname used by the eldest member of the famous Lafitte family of buccaneers who sailed the southern seas in the early 1800’s plundering vessels of those deemed to be their enemies.  Dominique Youx was actually Fredric Alexander Lafitte, brother of Jean and Pierre Lafitte.  He was the first of the Brothers to become a buccaneer.  He was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte as a privateer and served for France during the war with Spain. When the Lafitte’s moved to New Orleans, the charismatic Jean Lafitte organized hundreds of rogues into a band of pirates who became the scourge of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Local rumor has it that some of their loot is still hidden in the estuary of St.Andrew Bay.

The present day Krewe of Dominique Youx, like other famous Mardi Gras Krewes, celebrates the season in a carnival atmosphere. For the first time, the krewe will parade on Panama City Beach. Pirates dressed in colorful costumes will be throwing beads to revelers along the parade route beginning at Hill Road, proceeding down Front Beach Road, and into Pier Park.  This year, King Rob Fernandez (Dominique Youx XXII) and his Queen, Joyce Muller, will spearhead the Krewe as beads, doubloons, and other throws are tossed to the huge crowds lining the parade route.  This parade is free to the public and suitable for the whole family.

In Panama City Beach, the season begins in mid-November with a black-tie evening celebration.  The Krewe presents a local, non-member dignitary with the “Baratarian Cup”, a Mardi Gras honor unique to Panama City.  This year’s recipient is Robert “Bob” Myers.  Bob was an Air Force officer who settled down in Bay county after retiring and over the years became one of Bay County’s most prolific charity volunteers.  Bob will lead this year’s parade as Grand Marshall.

The Krewe also holds a formal, costumed Mardi Gras Ball for the coronation of the new King, Queen and court members for the following year.

The Krewe of Dominique Youx is self-financing, paying for its own equipment, floats, costumes, as well as the beads and doubloons thrown to the watching parade crowds.

The Panama City Krewe of Dominique Youx is proud to use the name of an historic buccaneer to promote the carnival spirit of Mardi Gras for the enjoyment of the people of Bay County.

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1 John January 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

This is another fine event
- family oriented –
that we can promote.

…and it occurs right about Spring Break.

There are actually three parades for Mardi Gras
in February and all three are provided by self funded charity organizations who support each others parades:

7 Feb – Krewe of Massalina, Panama City, Harrison Ave
14 Feb – Krewe of Dominique Youx, Pier Park
21 Feb – Krewe of St. Andrews, St Andrews, Beck Ave
all are at 3pm.

Additionally, the Krewe of St. Andrews sponsors a golf tournament in the spring. Contact me for more information.

If you think you would like to join the fun
and throw some beads, please contact me at
jlkitts@aol.com.

John

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2 patsy Wilbanks January 27, 2009 at 11:23 am

Please tell me when the parade on the 14th. of Feb will start and where will it start and where will it end. Thank you

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3 Jan Cox January 27, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Don’t forget that the Krewe of St. Andrews is again parading on February 20 with our Annual Kids Parade and Pet Parade. Our main parade is Saturday, February 21 at 3 PM in historic St. Andrew. Please visit our site at http://www.standrewsmardigras.com for lots of great pictures and full details!!! These parades are great fun and family oriented, we encourage everyone to be a part of ALL of the exciting Mardi Gras events this year!!!
Let the Good Times Roll!!!

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4 Bryan Durta January 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm

The parade starts at 3PM. Although it is a little small, you can click on picture in the article which includes a map of the parade route.

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5 Rob Fernandez January 27, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Fine article! Thanks;

CAPT Dominique Youx XXII

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6 connie August 18, 2009 at 12:44 pm

What date is the Mardi Gras in 2010 at Panama City Beach. We were there this year and would like to arrange to be there next year (2010)
Thank you

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