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Mardi Gras Parking Ministry
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How it All Began


            The St. Paul’s Carnival Association has organized their Mardi Gras Parade for decades to raise money particularly for the Catholic school.  During the Parade thousands of residents and visitors line the streets of Pass Christian to watch the floats, catch beads, and have a good time.  The parade route travels along the southern, northern, and northeastern quadrant of the Trinity Episcopal Church property. So we were surrounded by parade goers.

            As the parade became more popular, it unfortunately acquired the reputation as being a “rough” crowd.  In the early days, people parked willy nilly on the property and several of us who attended Church there, tried our best to keep an eye on things. Then one Sunday, around Mardi Gras 2000, Fr. Chris, our Rector at the time, noticed that someone was emptying the hot coals of his barbeque grill behind the bushes and under the church.  We decided we needed to make an effort to protect our property, investigate the possibility of a fund raiser for Trinity, and offer a family-friendly space in the midst of some of the Mardi Gras chaos.

            Enter, former Marine Lou Rizzardi, current “whatever you need done, ask Lou” Trinity member. As a result he organized his troops and began fencing the property a couple of weeks before the parade and started selling parking places.  We were very pleased with the success of our first attempt, and decided to continue.  We have succeeded in developing a wonderful gathering of people who stay with us every year. If a group did not fit in with the family-friendly atmosphere, they were simply not invited to return. We provide several port-a-pottys for our patrons and can arrange for private ones for an additional charge.  Along with the “comfort stations” we offer parking assistance and guidance, lovely oak trees, law enforcement security on site, and a great playground for the children—we repaired the whirler and added new mulch to spruce it up a bit.

            Parking at Trinity has become a tradition for many of our patrons who come early and stay late enjoying the company of friends and family.  We have heard that some use Trinity as a venue for family reunions and/or meeting old friends who may have moved away, but come back for the Parade.  They are considerate of others and always clean up their areas. 

            So our Mardi Gras Parking Ministry has proven to be a successful endeavor for all—parkers and parkees.

great parade1.jpg

How this Feat or Fete’ is Accomplished


This Ministry would not be possible without the help of numerous members of our Church and Community.  We have opportunities for every skill or physical ability that can contribute to the success of this activity.  No one person can do it alone.


Fence Crew

  • 1,000 feet of fencing needs to be installed.

  • The week before fence day (which varies depending on the Parade date) the locations of the fence posts are measured and marked with paint.

  • The Friday before fence day the posts and fencing are removed from the storage shed.

  • The posts are then pre-positioned along the perimeter and the fencing is sorted under the church according to the location where it will be used.

  • Saturday – Fence Day – slide hammers are presented to the post crews to begin setting the posts

  • Fencing will be distributed to the various areas, and the hanging crew will be given tie wraps, plastic wire cutters, and bags in which to deposit the cut ends of the tie wraps.

  • Plastic orange end caps will need to be positioned on each of the posts.

  • Fence is complete—now all extra materials, hammers, clippers, wraps, etc. are returned to Fence Captain.


Ticket Sales Team

  • The room under the Church is the place where Mardi Gras Tickets are handled.

  • Noon to 6 p.m. is the time frame for this year on Wednesdays and Saturdays.You do not need to be there the whole time, we will accept what you can give.

  • A notebook will be available, sorted by patron’s last name, showing their parking spots, prices, and if they have asked for a port-a-potty.

  • They may pay in cash or if using a credit card, with the square onsite.

  • Square instructions are written on the inside cover of the tablet case.

  • Check the red notebook to see if their tickets have already been written, they are filed in alphabetical order by last name.

  • If a ticket has not been written, write a ticket for each position they are paying for and note it in the notebook as PD.

  • If the patron has already paid for his spot online, there will be a note “PD” and they will just be coming to pick up their tickets.

  • EVERYONE should get a hard copy receipt showing their spots with price, and double check their email address and phone number against that listed in the notebook.If anything is incorrect, note it on the receipt and in the notebook as time allows.


Communications Team

  • Contact past patrons via phone or email to see if they wish to return.

  • If early emails bounce, try alternate methods.

  • Find out if the patron wishes to return, and if so determine payment method. Invoices can be sent on line or they may pay with cash or credit card by using the square onsite.

  • Confirm email address, names, phone number, and physical address if they want the tickets mailed to them.

  • Get any updated/corrected information to the Database Crew.


Map Updates

  • “Paid” spots are filled in with Patron’s last name.

  • Known open spots are noted with a penciled in “O”.

  • Spots whose previous year Patron has communicated with us to let us know they wish to return are noted with a penciled in “R”.

  • Unpaid “R” spots become “O” spots two weeks before Parade Day, unless firm payment times are agreed to beforehand—check the notebook for that information in the note column.Sell “O” slots before selling the “R” slots though.

  • Some of our regular Patrons travelling several hours to get here commit to paying and picking up tickets the day before the Parade.


Parade Day Crews

  • Each Parking Area has its own assigned Crew Chief and Support Staff.

  • Radios are available to help facilitate communication in the various areas.

  • North Gate controls the North Lot, North Perimeter, North Unassigned and Day of Parade Overflow parking.  Jeanne Tagge has headed this crew for numerous years.

  • Gate 2 controls “C” Lot east of the Building headed by Steve Mearns and his crew.

  • Gate 3 next to the big oak tree on Church St. controls the South Paved Lot and the North End of the Rice Field “RF”. Lin Burdette and his crew deal with this area.

  • Gate 4 controls the South End of the Rice Field and the Southern Perimeter. Gloria and Kevin Reimherr and crew have operated this area for several years.


Parade Crew Responsibilities

  • Control access to the property to those holding parking tags.

  • If they are in the wrong area, direct them to the proper gate and help them leave.

  • Check any pre-parked vehicles to make sure they have the proper tags and are in the correct spot.

  • The Gate Controller will also sell tags for any open spots in their area—cash only—on Parade Day.Crew Members will assist in helping patrons find their spot and distributing trash bags to those who need some.

  • After Road Closure, Field Crews are responsible for removing the fencing and posts from the Parade Route before 11 a.m.

  • Posts and loosely rolled fencing are to be stacked outside the Green Storage Shed.


Field Marking

  • Starts one (1) month before Parade Day.

  • Lay out and flag each parking spot according to the map and spreadsheet dimensions.

  • Spray paint baselines and flag corners of each perimeter spot before the fencing goes up.

  • Mark and spray paint locations for fence posts with RED marking paint.

  • After the fence is up, spray each parking spot dimensions with orange paint.

  • Spray port-a-potty locations using template and BLUE paint.Flag each location with a 24” stake with blue flag tape.

  • Wednesday before Parade Day, repaint any light paint lines and add traffic path arrows.

  • Duct tape and mark parking spots on asphalt areas.


Fence Inspection Day Crew

  • Parade Day + 13 or TBD

  • Plastic Fencing is inspected, measured, repaired or if not reparable length noted for replacement, rolled tightly, and tagged with the length.

  • Fencing Rolls are then stored in the loft of the Green Storage Shed.

  • Fence Posts are inspected, straightened, and stored inside the Shed in the bracketed area on the north wall.

  • Plastic caps are stored in a box in the shed.


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