Mardi Gras in May: Parade to be held Friday evening to celebrate the commissioning of the USS Mobile | Mobile County Alabama News
DOWNTOWN MOBILE, Ala (WALA) – It will be a lot like Mardi Gras this week in Downtown Mobile with tanks rolling on Friday.
Everything is to celebrate the commissioning of the USS Mobile.
“Love it,” said Chico McCollem. “Hi the energy and the people.”
The USS Mobile is the Navy’s last combat ship, built in its eponymous city.
McCollem has been on parades for almost three decades. This time he won’t be playing his drums, but you might be able to catch up with him downtown on Friday.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for people to come out after being locked up and not really come out in our normal circles and people are going to be able to come out and have a good time.”
21 mystical societies will bring 29 chariots with a few groups. The parade will follow a modified “Route A” from the Mobile Civic Center.
“We are absolutely delighted to have Mardi Gras in May, certainly unexpected,” said Elizabeth Broughton, co-owner of Debris Po Boys. “So any extra is welcome with open arms.”
With crowds expected, local restaurants are hoping for a boost.
“Not having Mardi Gras is like a hole in our hearts,” Broughton said. “We definitely missed it, so it will be so nice to bring people in.
A few days before the parade, Toomey’s saw its activity increase. People have been coming for weeks to pick up beads and throws. Sales helping after a difficult year.
“For the last 14 months-16 months or so, it’s been very difficult to get everything to work, but it’s a real blessing,” said Stephen Toomey, owner of Toomey.
Right now, the excitement is building ahead of the first pitches on Friday.
“I hope with all that is going on with COVID and all that I hope we can get out there and have a good time,” McCollem said.
The parade will start at 6.30am on Friday.
The commissioning ceremony takes place on Saturday morning.
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