Mobile kicks off LendingTree Bowl with parade

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — There’s still another four weeks before Mobile Mystic Societies take to the streets of downtown. But that didn’t stop the good times from rolling Saturday night!

Crowds gathered in downtown for The Greer’s Markets/This is Alabama Mardi Gras Parade.

Hundreds showed up, already ready for Mardi Gras to start.

“I’m super stoked. Mardi Gras is my favorite time of year,” said Keri Vanatta.

Hundreds of people lined the streets around the Mobile Civic Center and through Downtown Mobile, ready to catch some throws.

“To have fun with the kids, in the cold — freezing! just to have fun with the kids,” said Sharon Robinson.

This was all for a Mardi Gras-style parade, as Carnival season hasn’t officially started.

But it is a way for Mobile to celebrate the LendingTree Bowl, and to show off for the players and fans of Miami of Ohio and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“It brings crowds and everything else,” Vanatta said.

Some Mobilians showed up, just excited to see the familiar sights and sounds of Mardi Gras parades. Some have been waiting all year for the excitement. “All year long! I’m so sad when it’s gone,” Vanatta said.

Some we spoke with said this was their first-ever Mardi Gras parade in Mobile.

“We were passing through on the way to the Bahamas, and we [saw] everybody standing on the side of the road and we said what’s going on and they said we’re having a Mardi Gras parade and we pulled up,” said Bre Dye.

20 area Mystic organizations, area high school bands, as well as the bands from the two schools competing in the game paraded down the streets. Throwing candy, beads, and of course, MoonPies.

“Just to see all of the organizations together, I think it’s going to be fun,” said Vanatta.

The game kicks off Monday night at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The first Mardi Gras parade in Mobile will be the Conde Cavaliers, they roll on February 7th.

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