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Finally going to make Mardi Gras

By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP
Advance Managing Editor
I'm finally going to make it to Mardi Gras.
I don't have to plan a weekend trip or even consider new and ingenious places to hide my money. All I have to do is wake up, get ready and head on over to Martin Luther King Avenue where the spirit of Mardi Gras will be alive and well on Saturday morning.
This will be my first real-life exposure to any type of Mardi Gras event. And, the fact that it is happening right here in Atmore, instead of places like Mobile and Bourbon Street, make it even better. Since I've always been curious about Mardi Gras, but would never consider a trip to New Orleans during the Carnival season, this helps me solve a long-standing dilemma.
While the Crescent City's Mardi Gras has become an event of legendary proportions, the excitement and enthusiasm has spread to become more than a party for one city – it is now a celebration for the entire region and Atmore has climbed on board.
The organization we should all thank for bringing Mardi Gras into our backyard is The Ladies of Essence. Not only was the idea theirs, but they have overseen a parade that has grown in stature over the past three years. They deserve a lot of credit for the many hours of hard work they put into planning the parade and making it a unique event for all the residents of Atmore.
The greatest aspect of a home town Mardi Gras is that we can celebrate as one community – celebrate with those will call family, friends and neighbors. You can't do that in a city like Mobile, where the local paper has to print "Mardi Gras do's and don'ts" to help parade goers protect their families from drunkards, thieves – and even themselves.
We have a few do's and don'ts for our Mardi Gras too: Do come out to the Mardi Gras parade and do have a good time. The don'ts are: Don't be a stranger and don't let a moon pie land on the ground where it can be stepped on, run over, or otherwise destroyed and left inedible.
See you at Mardi Gras!