Prattville – Despite a biting arctic cold wind that literally blew in overnight, hundreds of spectators lined the downtown area streets to watch Prattville’s 6th annual Mardi Gras parade which began at 3:00 PM on Saturday at the Autauga County Courthouse.
According to Kellie Cook, Special Events Coordinator for the city, the total number of participants increased from previous years.
“There are sixty parade entries,” Cook said. “Bryan Henry from WSFA was chosen as the Grand Marshal because we wanted local representation to tie in with this year’s theme, ‘A Hometown Mardi Gras.’”
Henry, a Prattville resident, admitted he was a bit cold, but said, “it’s fun and certainly worth it.”
The Prattville Pops were the lead off musicians and following their float was Prattville Mayor Jim Byard Jr., his family, and Autauga County Circuit Court Clerk Whit Moncrief riding in the city’s planted fire truck.
Congressman Bobby Bright and Judge Lynn Clardy Bright also braved the chilly weather to ride in the procession.
“It is very cold, but at least it’s not raining,” said the congressman’s wife.
The Miss Fountain City “Rising Stars,” including the 2010 pageant winner along with the Miss Teen and the Miss Tiny representatives were featured in the parade. Jim ‘N Nicks Bar-B-Q, and several radio stations were also represented.
Greenville residents Whitman Sims, age 6, and his 11-year-old brother Winston did not seem bothered at all by the frigid temperatures. Their parents said they just love parades.
“We travel all around even to Mobile for parades,” Winston said. “We like to get the candy.”
It was the love of a parade that got Jake Houston of Montgomery into downtown Prattville. Bundled up in a heavy jacket and muffler, he really didn’t mind that the climate was not a bit milder.
“I just wanted to come and see what it was all about,” he said. “I missed Montgomery’s Thanksgiving and Christmas parades because I was ill, but I’m better now and I’m here to enjoy this one.”
Alabama Tourism has named 2010 the Year of Small Towns and Downtowns and Prattville’s Mardi Gras parade is the city’s first event of the year that will celebrate the statewide promotion.
Article by Melissa Parker
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