People tend to be Mardi Gras creatures of habit and watch the parades from the same spot, all the time, year after year.
“It does seem as if people decide where they like to watch the parades,” said Carol Hunter with the Downtown Mobile Alliance. “They know where to park to get to that spot, they often see the same people year after year so it is your spot to watch a parade.”
What has been your spot, however, may no longer be. The big parking lot on the northwest corner of Bienville Square – home to carnival viewers and vendors alike – will be a Hilton Garden Inn hotel by Mardi Gras 2017.
The vacant lot just south of the Battle House Hotel on Royal Street is now a parking garage for the various RSA properties.
“We know that with some of the development going on now that some of those folks will be displaced,” said Hunter, “but it’s part of progress. There are plenty of places along the route to re-establish a new tradition.”
The old courthouse site along Church and Royal Streets is currently under construction. The sidewalk there will be open but not what’s been a big vacant lot for the last decade. Construction is underway for a Mardi Gras themed park that will feature permanent concrete risers along the streets for parade viewing.