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Dothan's first Mardi Gras parade scheduled for Friday - Dothan Eagle: News

Dothan's first Mardi Gras parade scheduled for Friday

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Posted: Saturday, February 22, 2014 7:35 pm | Updated: 11:33 am, Fri Feb 28, 2014.

The Mardi Gras spirit will move through Dothan this Friday.

The recently formed Krewe of Kolosse will hold a local Mardi Gras parade starting at 4 p.m. at Solomon Park and ending in front of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity.

William Griggs and Harry Hall, two of the organizers, said the idea started from a conversation at a local restaurant after a Thalian Mardi Gras Society event. A follow-up conversation raised the possibility of a parade.

“It was more so from the religious aspect and less so from the ‘hey, let’s get together and have a crazy party’ type of thing,” Griggs said.

The phrase “Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday,” which refers to the practice of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

Griggs and Hall are Episcopalians, but members of other denominations that celebrate and commemorate Lent are also participating.

Mardi Gras falls on March 4, but parades held by various groups began on Feb. 15. Hall said the Dothan Police Department approved the application last week for what will be the city’s first Mardi Gras parade.

The parade will assemble at Solomon Park. It will travel east on Choctaw Street, take a left onto Girard Avenue, a right onto Pontiac Avenue, a left onto Choctaw Street, a right onto Montezuma Avenue, a left onto Burdeshaw Street, a right onto Park Avenue, a left onto Magnolia Avenue, a right onto Holly Lane and end in front of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, where a Mardi Gras party will be held that night.

Griggs said the two-mile route was chosen so people could view the parade without having to stand in yards. The parade will pass by Girard Elementary School, Evergreen Presbyterian Church, Calvary Baptist Church, First United Methodist Church and other places that have sidewalks and parking lots.

Planning started in January, so only three to six floats are expected to participate this year. Organizers hope the parade will become an annual event, and Griggs expects it will be far grander next year.

Masks and costumes will be worn, beads and peanuts will be thrown, and brass musicians are being recruited to play.

Judging from the attention generated on Facebook and phone calls, Griggs and Hall think the parade has support and room to grow.

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