Auburn residents should expect an authentic Mardi Gras celebration downtown on Saturday as the Mardi Gras parade and Krewe Krawl return for another year.
From 10 a.m. until businesses close, Auburn residents will be able to participate in the second annual Krewe Krawl. Hosted by the Auburn Downtown Merchants Association, the event promises entertainment and exclusive deals.
With the purchase of a $10 wristband, participants can take advantage of a number of discounts and deals. From no cover charge at bars to up to 25 percent off at Auburn’s various boutiques, the Krewe Krawl will offer a wide range of discounts in an effort to help bring business to downtown Auburn. With over 20 merchants scheduled to participate, the full list of businesses and discounts can be found at downtownauburnonline.com.
Wristbands can be purchased prior to the event at the following downtown businesses: Elisabet Boutique, Behind the Glass. Charming Oaks, Stamp and Cellairis. Wristbands can also be purchased the day of the event.
“Last year’s parade and Krewe Krawl was a big success and we only anticipate this year to be bigger and better,” said Jessica Kohn, Auburn’s downtown coordinator. “There’s going to be more participants in the parade and then we do have a few more merchants participating in the Krewe Krawl this year,”
Along with the Krewe Krawl, the third annual Mardi Gras “Let The Good Times Roar” parade will kick off at 2 p.m. The parade, hosted by Krewe de Tigris, an Auburn social club, will feature about 50 floats said one of the club’s founders, Adris Ludlum.
The parade will last approximately 45 minutes and will start on Thach concourse, travel north on College Street, turn right onto Tichenor Avenue, then south onto Gay Street before finally turning back onto Thach.
Like many events held downtown, both the Krewe Krawl and parade are entertainment district events, meaning that participants will be allowed to walk around downtown with alcoholic beverages.
Ludlum said the parade will be a festive affair, and those in attendance will leave with all kinds of goodies thrown from the floats.
“Essentially, we’ll all be decorated, we’ll throw beads, moon pies — soft stuff like that. And, there will be music,” Ludlum said. “Most people know it for New Orleans and everything, but the first one in the U.S. was actually in Mobile.”
Although he was born and raised in Dothan, Ludlum wants to not only get the Auburn community together, but to also spread the traditions of Mardi Gras and its Alabama history.
“A lot of people have some ties down to the Mobile area and we were looking at starting a social club and try to bring something to the community where we can have everybody come out and join and celebrate,” Ludlum said about the formation of the Krewe de Tigris. “So, just between wanting to start a social group and wanting to kind of spread the tradition of Mardi Gras to Auburn — that’s kind of what brought it.”
In anticipation of the Mardi Gras parade, streets in downtown Auburn will close at about 1 p.m. on Saturday, Kohn said.