Dauphin Island plans 'people's parade' for Carnival season

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2016 10:49 AM

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — A "people's parade" is being planned on Dauphin Island for the upcoming Carnival season.

Though the Island Mystics Mardi Gras organization will no longer parade on Dauphin Island, town leaders say the good times will continue to roll during the upcoming Carnival season.

The Dauphin Island Town Council recently voted to sponsor and organize a parade to replace the Island Mystics parade on Feb. 4.

Council member Gene Fox said it will be "a people's parade" similar to the Joe Cain Day parade in Mobile, Al.com reported (http://bit.ly/2gmrP1C ) .

Before Christmas, Fox said the council will announce a process to sign up "floats, horses, boats, classic cars, foot-marching groups, flaming baton-twirling groups or bands."

"We've created a monster," Fox said with a laugh. "Now we just have to get it to line up in parade form. We're working with every entity on the island to get involved."

Traditionally, the Krewe de la Dauphine mystic society kicks off the Mobile Mardi Gras season with the first parade down Bienville Boulevard on Dauphin Island — set for Jan. 28, 2017, at 1 p.m. — followed by the Island Mystics a week later, before the downtown Mobile parades begin the following Friday night, Al.com reported.

The group didn't parade in 2015, but did have five floats in 2016.

Both Dauphin Island parades are seen by local leaders to be "critical to our small economy during the off-season," Fox said.

"We need that second Mardi Gras parade," he said.

The new parade will take the spot left by the Island Mystics, on Feb. 4 at 1 p.m.

"Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and other towns have their own parades," Fox said.

The new parade will be known as the Town of Dauphin Island parade.

The parade will follow the same route as the Island Mystics, starting at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and proceeding west on Bienville Boulevard, ending approximately at Fins Bar, which is owned by Fox.