Pascagoula council moves to curb Mardi Gras indecency

The Associated Press By The Associated Press The Associated Press
on April 06, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Public indecency — and some dogs — will now be prohibited from parades and other events in Pascagoula. The Mississippi Press reports that Mardi Gras shenanigans prompted action by the city council.

The separate ordinances were drafted by City Attorney Eddie Williams.

Williams said he patterned the public indecency ordinance after looking over those in other south Mississippi cities.

"This is a response to complaints we got during Mardi Gras that there was inappropriate activity on some of the floats," Williams said. "This would help prevent that."

During this year's Mardi Gras, he said there were complaints about some young men blasting music filled with cusswords and sexual lyrics, and acting them out atop the float in front of the crowd. He said one year several apparently inebriated parade-goers mooned the crowd.

The indecency ordinance will go into effect on May 3.

A violation of any of the city's criminal ordinances can result in a fine up to $1,000. Williams said a judge has the authority to set the fine at whatever level he or she deems appropriate depending on the circumstances.

The amendment to the city's dog ordinance prohibits people from bringing dogs — with the exception of service dogs and dogs that are officially part of the parade — to within 150 feet of a parade route or other permitted public events.

That includes everything from Chihuahua to pit bull, leashed or unleashed, Williams said.

The amended dog ordinance also grew out of Mardi Gras, he said, with reports of "dogs getting after other dogs, dogs scaring people."

The amended ordinance also becomes effective May 3.