Mardi Gras was always a good time for me

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Driving through Fairhope Sunday afternoon, the remnants of Mardi Gras were still present.

The occasional bead necklace was either strewn on the ground or hanging from a power line; the metal barricades were still in place.

The short trip to my childhood home brought back memories of when I would go to the many Mardi Gras parades.

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It also gave me a smile because the parades were so much fun.

As a young kid, I always thought the floats were bigger than life itself. I mean, they were huge — and colorful, to boot.

Living so close to downtown, we’d always walk to the parades.

Our spot, usually would be in front of the local barbershop my brothers and I would frequent when we’d need a haircut. The barbershop’s called Ken and Vernon’s.

During high school, I’d have to be tasked with walking along the floats with Key Club, the school organization associated with Kiwanis.

Those times were always fun because I’d have to be in charge of making sure the crowd didn’t get too close to the floats.

The best part about walking with the floats was the float riders, who threw the candy.

Their faces were covered up with masks, but I could always make out their chins and necks. I could tell between the men and women.

Beads would fly over my head and into the reaching crowd, along with candy and other things the people wanted.

Another memory that will always stay with me was about three years ago, I covered the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

One of the players — Nico Johnson of Andalusia — played in the game.

After a great day at the game, I had to make my way back to Fairhope. I knew that the parades were in full swing then, so I researched where the routes were.

Well, I didn’t take into effect that I’d be running right into the parades that night. So, I took rights and lefts until I finally saw the interstate, which was what I was looking for in the first place.

Once I made my way back across the bay, I got home and was thankful for it.

Mardi Gras is always a good time of the year for many, but will always serve as a memorable one for me.