Parading on Valentine’s no problem for local merchants

Published 9:07 am Friday, February 13, 2015

With the Magic City Carnival Association Mardi Gras parade rolling Saturday on Valentine’s Day, local floral and gift shops are reporting brisk business.

Merchants at The Rose Garden, McMillan’s Nursery and Gayle’s Jewelers all say business has been good this week.

“We’re pretty busy. I didn’t think we’d be as busy with Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday this year, but our main business right now is Valentine’s,” The Rose Garden’s Deby Pigott said. “For it to be on a Saturday, we’re doing a lot more business than I anticipated Of course, it all depends on who the MCCA king and queen are. If it’s one of your customers, you need to maintain business with the florist you’re accustomed to.”

MCCA XXXV royalty are King Richard Jenkins of Franklinton and Queen Deni Talley Black of Slidell. MCCA XXXV rolls Saturday at 1 p.m. through the streets of Bogalusa.

“Business has been brisk,” McMillan’s co-owner Brian Lively said. “Valentine’s is always a decent day for us.”

Lively said the business has a good mixture of customers buying for both Valentine’s and MCCA.

“We have MCCA krewe parties, and they’ve been busy buying gifts for all the pages, dukes, king, queen and all the royalty,” Lively said. “Valentine’s Day is always good for us. I’d say 60 percent of our customers are buying for Valentine’s Day and 40 percent for Mardi Gras.”

Gayle’s Jewelers owner Bridget Russell said the same at her store, located at 406 S. Columbia St.

“I feel like this week is a mixture of Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras,” Russell said. “I feel like our customers are aware of both days falling on the same day.”

Russell said her shop will be closed Saturday.

“I’d say our business has been 75 percent Valentine’s Day and 25 percent Mardi Gras,” Russell said. “Love always wins out.”