Mardi Gras party gearing up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mardi Gras party gearing up

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Tens of thousands of people are expected to pack downtown Albany this weekend for Mardi Gras celebrations.  There's a marathon, a bike race, and downtown party with concerts, a huge economic boost for Albany. 

But rain may be on the way.  What happens if it rains?  That is simple, everything will go on as scheduled.

If it rains, it will help cool off those marathoners and bikers.  But for now, businesses downtown are getting ready to welcome a massive crowd.

If you're looking for a party this weekend, you'll find one in downtown Albany.

Expressations owner LaNicia Hart said, "We're expecting a lot of people from different states, different countries, so I'm excited."

Food tents were going up this morning.  Omar Salaam says he can't miss the economic impact this weekend allows.  He said, "I hope it's the biggest."

It is definitely one of Albany's biggest parties.  Unless, of course, it gets rained out.

Salaam said, "Last year was great.  The weather was great this year, we faced with a little rain, but we don't mind about getting wet."

Benches are set up and store owners are gearing up for what could be one of the highest grossing weekends of the year.

Hart said, "I'm excited, looking forward to the weekend."

So is Debra Monroe who manages the General Store on North Washington Street which opened yesterday.

She said, "We're real excited.  We're excited to open up downtown again."

Especially excited to open up just days before thousands of people come strolling by.  Monroe said, "I think it's going to be fantastic."

And as for that chance of rain, B.J. Fletcher at Café 230 says, just ignore those weather reports.  She said, "Don't let these weathermen tell you it's going to rain because it's not.  It's going to be a pretty day.  We are expecting thousands and thousands of people." 

People ready for a party and not worried at all about a little bit of precipitation.

If the rain does get too heavy early in the day and people don't come downtown for the street festival, Mardi Gras will be held again next weekend. 

But for now, the plans remain the same.  Organizers for the weekend say even if it does rain, they hope you'll line the bike and marathon routes to cheer on participants.

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