Mardi Gras big success - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mardi Gras big success

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Flint River isn't the only thing flowing through downtown Albany, so is the money.  $3 Million was pumped into the economy during Mardi Gras weekend.

Thousands of people flocked to the city to take part in the sporting events and street festival. Even though it rained for part of the events, the weekend was still a huge success.

When the final runner crossed the finish line Saturday, Rashelle Beasley from the Convention and Visitors Bureau was there cheering him on. 

Now, she's receiving cheers for Albany.  She said, "We've had nothing but positive response thus far."

The marathon is an event that attracts more runners each year.  It's earned a reputation.  Beasley said, "I heard a lot prior to the race about it's supposed to be the flat course and then after the race it was like, 'it is the flat course'."

And a course people plan to return to.  "They said they had an awesome day."

As did Debra Monroe.  She is the manager of the new General Store which opened just a couple days before the Mardi Gras events.  She said, "We had a whole bunch of people in here, a lot of foot traffic."

Even though the skies clouded up and rain fell.  Monroe said, "We thought the rain would get us but we still had a wonderful day."

Organizers say 55,000 people entered the gates of Mardi Gras last year.  They were expecting even more this year.  The rain may have changed the turnout, but not the success.

Downtown Manager Aaron Blair said, "It's a highly success event for downtown and it's something we hope to build upon for other events we hope."  To bring more people back downtown.

I was told earlier that every hotel room in Albany was booked for the weekend.  It brings in a total economic impact of three million dollars.

The only event in Albany that has a bigger economic impact on the city of Albany is homecoming weekend for Albany State University, which brings in four million dollars.


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