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Mardi Gras party could be wet one

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- As officials finish last-minute preparations for the city's largest annual event, Mardis Gras weekend organizers say that the 50 percent chance of rain Saturday afternoon shouldn't detract from the party atmosphere they're working so hard to create.

According to the National Weather Service, a strong line of possibly severe weather is expected to move through the South this weekend, but will largely be concentrated well west of Albany.

There is, however, a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms late Saturday afternoon and into Sunday.

While the daytime races and events have a good chance of missing the showers Saturday, those attending of the Mardis Gras street party might not be so lucky.

"If its something that's sporadic -- a 10-minute shower or something like that -- nothing's going to change. Everything will be on as usual," Teresa Smith, services coordinator for the Albany Convention and Visitor's Bureau said.

With any chance of rain expected to come in the late afternoon, Saturday morning's events will go on as planned, CVB Director Lisa Riddle said. The marathon and half-marathons will start early Saturday morning and the SB&T Bank Bike Race will begin a little later in the day.

Paricipants in Sunday's events face a bigger risk of rainfall.

If the weather turns soggy, Sunday's Praise in the Park festival set likely will be canceled, Smith said. It's scheduled for outdoors at the Veterans Park Amphitheater.

The second portion of the bike race, which is set to take place in Lee County, will still go on if rain is light and scattered. But if storms arise, that event also may be called off.

"It's going to be one of those things that we just won't know until the day of," Riddle said. "We all know how the weather is around here and things could change quickly."

Still, organizers say they are doing everything they can to get folks downtown Friday, Saturday and Sunday.