Mardi Gras Mania

Published 11:05 pm Wednesday, March 8, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
The good times rolled through Atmore a week later than planned, but the sun was definitely shining brighter as the annual Ladies of Essence Mardi Gras Parade took to the streets of Atmore Saturday.
The parade originally slated to roll on Feb. 25, was postponed due to inclement weather.
The festival season ended officially on Fat Tuesday of last week, but the spirit of Mardi Gras was alive and well in the City of Atmore as floats made their way through the city streets Saturday.
The parade consisted of more than 20 floats and vehicles that were all decorated with the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and yellow.
People of all ages lined the streets for a chance to catch the popular Mardi Gras beads and moon pies.
An occasional shout of "Hey Mister! Throw me some beads!" was heard among the crowds.
Children could not move fast enough to scoop up the mounds of candy that was thrown.
Hundreds of strands of beads flew through the air followed by moon pies and stuffed animals.
A lot of the floats even threw novelty items such as frisbees and cups.
Ladies of Essence president and parade organizer Brenda Watkins was very pleased with the success of the parade.
"I think we had a good turnout for the parade," Watkins said. "I don't think the delay really hurt us that bad. People were excited about the parade from the beginning and they still came out to support it. We had a good number of people to support the event by entering floats in the parade. They did a good job of decorating them. I think the parade really brought the spirit of Mardi Gras to our town."
The spirit of Mardi Gras was evident from the sights and sounds around town during the parade.
Watkins was not the only one happy about the parade's success. Several residents had nothing but positive things to say about the annual event.
"I love it." Ann Brown said.
" It is awesome and I love to see the community come out and do this."
"It is pretty good that everybody is coming together to do something as a group." Eugene Edwards Jr. said,
The Mardi Gras parade began about five years ago when Bonnie Bartel Latino petitioned the City Council with a request for the Ladies of Essence to hold the annual parade.
The ladies organization holds a Mardi Gras ball prior to the parade each year.
Ladies of Essence member, Veola Watkins, thinks the event is terrific.
"I think that it is terrific that this event is happening for our town."
Most everyone in town seems to agree with Watkins.
"I think it is good for the community," Barbara McMurray said. "People have come from everywhere to support this parade this year."

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