MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The good times are rolling through the streets of downtown Mobile again Friday night.
This year, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mardi Gras was much more subdued. But, a Mardi Gras-style parade is planned for Friday night to celebrate the commissioning of the USS Mobile.
Excitement in the city has been building up to the parade. “It’s nice to see the city coming back alive,” Ruth Padilla said.
Padilla was disappointed there were no Mardi Gras parades this regular season because of COVID-19. But, when she heard there was a Mardi Gras-style parade set for may, she got excited.
“We moved here in September, and this will be my children’s first Mardi Gras parade, and our first one here as residents of Mobile,” Padilla said.
The familiar sights of barricades lining downtown Mobile streets once again, the first time in a year, as the city prepared to celebrate the USS Mobile in the home of the Original Mardi Gras.
“I think it’s great, I mean I’m really happy to see that Mobile is going to get it started back,” Diana Lawrence said.
“I’m very excited to see that there is something happening, I hope everybody is safe wearing masks, being as safe as possible, but I am excited that we are celebrating something,” Mariah Stewart said.
While COVID-19 is still a concern for some, many are itching to get a taste of what makes Mobile special.
“Probably maybe be not fully in the crowd, but close enough that we can experience it and feel like Mobile Mardi Gras again,” Stewart said.
Several people we spoke with expect crowds of people at the parade. It is a shorter route than normal, but some think many will try to make up for the relatively quiet Mardi Gras season.
“I personally think because we didn’t get to have Mardi Gras, people are going to be ready like it’s going to be like Mardi Gras on fire, it’s going to be lit,” Padilla said.
The parade starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Center. View the route below.