Friday, January 20, 2006

Expecting BIG Crowds

Mardi Gras in Mobile could be huge. "Soon as you try to figure out what its gonna be it turns out not to be that." Life and business have taught Jeff Jordan not to let his hopes soar.

But now as his Mardi Gras shop heads into it's 3rd year, it's hard to keep the glimmer out of the entrepreneur's eyes. "If there's room here, I think they'll come. I'm just not sure if there's enough room to put them in hotel space."

"The central business district, downtown is pretty much booked." Leon Maisel with the Mobile Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau says hotel rooms downtown are almost all booked and the beltway is filling up.

If you want a room, act fast. You can do so at this website. .

Click the title link to read the rest of the story.

Navy destroyer to visit Mobile during Mardi Gras

The U.S.S. Nitze, a new guided-missile destroyer with a crew of 320 sailors, is slated to sail into Mobile on February 24th for a five-day Mardi Gras visit.

Commander Michael Hegarty, the ship's commanding officer, said he and crewmembers are looking forward to the festivities.

The naval vessel is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

Hegarty said this will be the ship's first official port liberty visit since its commissioning last March.

Click the title link to read the rest of the story from NBC 15 news.

Staying Safe During Mardi Gras

The Mobile Police Department wants to share some safety precautions and other good to know facts for those heading down to Mardi Gras this year.

Streets in and around the parade route will begin closing approximately one hour prior to the start of each parade. Drivers must adhere to all designated “No Parking” areas as well as other specially marked Mardi Gras “No Parking” zones marked with green and gold signs. All vehicles parked in these areas will be towed to Smith’s Towing, located at 2400 Michigan Avenue; (251)-662-8304. The fee for this towing will be $75.00 and must be paid to the wrecker company before any vehicle can be released to the owner.

R.V. parking on the medians along Claiborne and Canal Streets will still be prohibited this Mardi Gras. However, R.V. parking will be allowed beneath I-10 at Canal and Water Streets for a fee (approximately 150 spaces available). “No R.V. Parking” signs have already been posted in the downtown area and will be strictly enforced. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding R.V. parking can contact Ike Jimenez at (251) 476-7038 or 583-2350.

Following is a list of precautions that should be kept in mind while attending the parades downtown during Mardi Gras:

• Attend parades with family or friends
• A City Ordinance strictly forbids glass containers in public
• Do not follow floats. Violators may be arrested
• Do not throw any object in the direction of floats, band members, or parade participants. Violators may be arrested
• Materials known as “Silly String” and “Snap & Pops”, along with similar products are illegal. Possession of any these products may result in arrest
• If you need police assistance during a parade, go to the nearest intersection and advise a uniformed police officer
• Lost children will be taken to the Mobile Police Department Central Events Mini Precinct located at 320 Dauphin Street (208-6306). Place an index card in your childs pocket indicating their name, address, telephone number and a relatives name
• Please cooperate with all requests from police officers
• Choose a well-lit area for night parade viewing
• Establish a pre-designated meeting place for after the parade in case you get separated from friends or family
• Park vehicles in secure areas and do not leave valuables in plain sight. Utilize the trunk to store valuables
• The Mobile Police Department will enforce a “no weapons” policy. Persons found in possession of weapons will be arrested. Pistol permits do not allow possession of firearms at parades
• Uniformed and plainclothes officers will be patrolling behind the crowds to identify and arrest persons engaging in criminal activity
• Do not cross the barricades. Each officer will be carrying a ticket book and will be issuing citations to those people who disobey the law by crossing the barricades. The fine for crossing the barricades is $152.00
• Pets on leashes are prohibited during the parades downtown
• Skateboards and motorized scooters are prohibited.

African American Mardi Gras

There is not an abundance of photographs of black Mardi Gras past in Mobile, but enough exist to accurately tell the story. The story is told around the activities of the organization that would eventually become the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association.

A 1946 photograph captures the spirit and excitement of a marching band as it charges toward the viewing stand. Awaiting them is the royal court of the association, but if you take a close look at these photographs, you'll discover the identity of the studio that captured these moments -- a photography studio that is, itself, a thing of the past.

Blue Light Studio number one opened on Royal Street in 1942. By 1944 a second blue light studio opened but later burned in 1958. But the photos survive.

Click the title link to read the rest of the story from NBC 15.

Makin Mardi Gras

Click on the title link to read all the articles from Darwin Singleton of NBC 15 news.

MAMGA seeks to bring Mammoth Parade back to "The Avenue"
When the MAMGA parade rolls on Fat Tuesday, Tammy Morgan of Prichard says keep your eye out for the ladies on float 13.

"Big Easy" float builders make Mardi Gras easier in Orange Beach
Joe Barth and Tim Kennedy are in a large metal garage, busy working on Mardi Gras floats. No surprise. It's what they do this time every year in New Orleans. But this isn't New Orleans. It isn't even in Louisiana. This is a secret float barn in Orange Beach. Alabama. So why are Joe and Tim here instead of there?

Dynasty Collection: Makin' Mardi Gras with carnival royalty!
Mary Margaret Monahan is a beautiful lady. But something special happens when you add a crown! A crown, a scepter and jewels!

Makin' Mardi Gras at Toomey's
You've seen the crazy hats, the one-of-a-kind beads, the wacky glasses (for your face or your table) and maybe even a Mardi Gras vest! That stuff is commonplace at Toomey's Mardi Gras! Watch this video
Watch this video

Moon Pie Recipe
It's that time of year again. NBC 15's own "Mr. Mardi Gras" starts dipping into the familiar purple, green and gold, and he's getting a new spin on the old Mardi Gras favorite -- the moon pie!

Mobile hosting Gulf Coast's oldest Mardi Gras
From decorated trees and outrageous costumes to colorful parades and quaint traditions, it's Mardi Gras time on the Gulf Coast. And while New Orleans' celebration may be better known, Mobile's is, in fact, known to be older — as well as more family-oriented.

Mardi Gras safety tips and need-to-know info
The Mobile Police Department wants to share some safety precautions and other good to know facts for those heading down to Mardi Gras this year.

Joe Cain
Mention his name anywhere else and it won't ring a bell, but say Joe Cain in Mobile, and, well, it's almost like saying George Washington.

African American Mardi Gras in Mobile
The Blue Light photographers did not limit their cameras to the streets of Mobile's black neighborhoods. They took them into the halls and homes here the shutter captured a carnival association party.

Everyone knows that Cinderella is a fairy tale, but come to Mobile during Mardi Gras, and you might have to reconsider.

Royalty must have a crown
How can you recognize a Mardi Gras king or queen? By the crown, of course! Something happens to a person when that sparkling headpiece is placed on their brow. So who is responsible for crowning our Mardi Gras royalty? Darwin knows!

Return to History?

Parade petitions for return to roots

The Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association has requested a route expansion of its Fat Tuesday Mammoth Parade to include Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, a move that would take the parade back to its historic roots.

MAMGA officials also want a 2 p.m. start, Ralph Altice, association president, said Wednesday. MAMGA officials held a news conference Wednesday evening at the association's float barn to discuss the reason for requesting the route change.

"We consider this more of an expansion and not so much as a change," Altice said earlier Wednesday.

Please click the title link to read the rest of the story from the Mobile Register.