MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Thanksgiving might only be a few days away, but some people are already thinking about Mardi Gras season.
After no parades last year because of COVID-19, Mobile is already gearing up for a full carnival season.
“I think they’re ready to let the good times roll again,” said Stephen Toomey, owner of Toomey’s Mardi Gras.
Revelers are stocking up, getting ready for a busy 2022 Mardi Gras season.
“I think it’ll be a lot bigger than what we have seen in recent years, you know going back to 2020. I think people are, this is part of our culture in Mobile. I think people are just itching to get to the parades and ride and have a great time,” Toomey said.
Toomey says they are seeing sales at about pre-pandemic levels. This happening as supply chain problems are causing issues around the world, leading to shortages of many products. Toomey says their shipments haven’t been delayed, but they are seeing an increase in shipping prices.
“It’s incredible, I think with supply chain challenges I guess you could call them. People are just more business than ever for this time of year. People doing their layaways, coming and going and buying for the upcoming season,” Toomey said.
“Many of the throws, so many of the things come from China and you hear about that and it does worry you,” said Lonnie Rawlins, a rider on Joe Cain Day.
Rawlins was shopping at Toomey’s Tuesday morning. He says he decided to go ahead and buy some of the throws he needs for Joe Cain Day and is excited for 2022, especially after no parades rolled during the 2021 Mardi Gras season.
“Everybody loves Mardi Gras, we all know how great it is. To not have it one year, it was just kind of devastating. A big-time downer,” Rawlins said.
He and Toomey both say they are expecting a huge turnout this year. “I would think it would be astronomical. I think it’s going to be great,” said Rawlins.
WKRG News 5 spoke with Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson about Mardi Gras, and he says the city is ready for the parades this year. He says the biggest challenge has been Broad Street with the construction there, but he says floats will be able to go down Broad Street this season. The first parade will roll in Mobile on Feb. 11.