The gloomy, cloudy weather looming over The Plains didn’t hinder the eccentric and colorful Mardi Gras celebration in Downtown Auburn Saturday.
The third-annual Mardi Gras parade in Auburn, organized by Krewe de Tigris and hosted by the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association, brought local families and students downtown to watch around 45 floats throw beads and moon pies to the enthusiastic crowd.
"My favorite part is all the beads," Southern Union State Community College student Mia Palmer said. "This was my first time, I've never done Mardi Gras before."
Local social and charitable organizations, downtown merchants and businesses participated in the parade by decorating floats with colorful themes. Construction workers in the downtown area put down their tools to watch the festivities.
Most floats had people dressed in tiger print throwing goodies to the crowd. Captain Jack Sparrow was even featured on the Auburn Limousine.
"It's a lot of fun, I've never been to a Mardi Gras parade," Auburn alumna Fonda Carter said. "Our favorite part was the beer ambulance."
Parade organizer and Krewe de Tigris member Adris Ludlum said the Mardi Gras parade was brought to The Plains when a group of friends got together four years ago to start Krewe de Tigris.
“After a year of organizing and getting the krewe together, we decided we wanted to put a parade on, to get the town involved” Ludlum said.
The parade route made a large rectangular path, starting at the Thach and North College intersection. Ludlum said they are hoping to expand the route farther into the Auburn community in the future.
“We really are trying to get people to come and spend time downtown and enjoy downtown, visit the different merchants,” Ludlum said. “Get the discounts and everything that the merchants are doing.”
The parade in Auburn is smaller in scale than the celebrations in Mobile and New Orleans, but it is more community-orientated.
“We really do encourage this to be a family-friendly event,” Ludlum said. “We want people to come and go to all the businesses downtown and really just have the community come together.”
He said his favorite part of the parade is seeing everybody supporting it and coming out to have a great time. “You get a lot more enthusiasm than you do in other [local] parades,” Ludlum said. “The crowd really wants to be involved, there’s a lot of cheering.”
Ludlum said he hopes the parade gains popularity each year. “This is our third year, I hope we’re gaining traction,” he said. “I hope we can be the favorite parade [in Auburn].”
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