Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Why fly to New Orleans for Mardi Gras when there's a celebration in your own backyard?
"It's still a kind of organizaed chaos, but it's a lot of fun," said Bob Ferillo, reigning King of Krewe de Columbi Ya-Ya.
Sound the drums and catch the beads. It's Mardi Gras in the Midlands.
"People get to dress up, it's a lot of fun to wear some bright colors, see your friends, walk your dog, throw some beads and listen to some great music. So it's something different and I think that's what really draws people down here," said Eric McClam with Krewe de Columbi Ya-Ya.
Unlike a trip to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, kiddies can be a part of the Krewe.
"They try very hard to make them family friendly. Adults and non-families can come out and have a good time but it's still clearly an event that anyone can participate in," said John Crowley who attened the event with his family.
They even catered to furry friends. And there was royalty present.
"I was born a peasant. Today I'm a King," Ferillo said.
The King and Queen of Krewe de Columbi Ya-Ya are both South Carolinians who have a positive impact on the community. And King Ferillo sees how just one event is bringing the city together.
"It shows how diverse the city is becoming to embrace this kind of music. It's a wonderfully diverse crowd, young and old, all races," Ferillo said.
All proceeds from the event went to the Animal Mission.