Harrison Cannon, Joe Maxey and Candice Godby parade across Pine Avenue Tuesday afternoon. The group joined Albany Mardi Gras co-founder Phil Cannon to announce the addition of a parade to the 2012 Albany Mardi Gras festivities.
ALBANY — Phil Cannon and the Downtown Merchants Association, organizers of the Mardi Gras festival, are adding a Friday event — a Mardi Gras style parade.
They’re asking community groups and organizations to get involved. A meeting is being planned for 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday at Merry Acres Conference Center to work on details of the new component, which will add a third day to the annual festival. The meeting will be open to the public.
“We’ve decided to expand it to Friday and it will be a three-day event and what we wanted to add to the 10th one was a Mardi Gras parade,” Cannon said.
This year’s event will fall on the March 2-4 weekend.
Cannon said organizers want to make it as affordable as possible for organizations to participate in the parade.
“We don’t care if you want to walk, ride a bike or have a float. We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone and anyone to participate,” Cannon said. “We’ll even minimize your cost. We anticipate every entity that joins will spend about $50 dollars to do this.”
The Mardi Gras street festival has grown rapidly over its 10-year history and now is a part of an entire weekend of events downtown that include the Snickers Marathon Bar Marathon and the SB&T Bike Race.
Downtown Manager Aaron Blair said he thinks adding the parade to the lineup of events that weekend will grow an already blossoming festival atmosphere in the spring downtown.
“Obviously adding the parade to the mix of what we already do downtown is going to be the best next step in making that event even that much greater,” Blair said.