Albany celebrates Mardi Gras - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany celebrates Mardi Gras

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Albany- There was music and dancing for the young and the old, and food, and games for the kids. The big draw at Albany's Mardi Gras celebration were the beads.

"You can't have a Mardi Gras festival without beads," said Charlene Russell.

"We have the blinky beads, and we have the speciality beads, like the motorcycles, Georgia Bulldog. They like the different beads with the different ideas about everything," said Kay Lamb of Party Plus Wedding.

This is the third Mardi Gras celebration in Albany an event that continues to grow.

"Turnout is about three times what it was last year at this point in time, last year the street was somewhat crowded from the Chamber of Commerce to Jackson, this year it's totally crowded all the way to Washington," said Phil Cannon, event coordinator.

For many it was their first time.

"See what it was all about, never been before and thought it would be fun," said Carmie Owens.

For Charlene Russell, her friend Pamela Tillman and her daughter it was an escape from boredom.

"Basically to get out of the house, and enjoy downtown because I've never really come down here just to enjoy the scenery," said Russell.

Mardi Gras Queen, Lori Love Rogers, is originally from New Orleans. She says, Albany's event is just as good as the original.

"It's just as much fun, it's food, family, and all kind of festivities and this one is a whole lot safer," said Rogers.

Organizers say, the festivities are serving their purpose.

"It's encouraging people to come together, come out here, meet some new people, say hello, and just enjoy yourself," said Cannon.

Organizers say that they're already planning next year's event which will be the first Saturday of March, 2006.

posted by jennifer.emert@walb.com