Safer Mobile Mardi Gras
To Mayor Sandy Stimpson, Mobile City Council, and applicable Mardi Gras parading organizations:
We are Mobilians and visitors who seek to have a safer and more family-friendly Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama. This year (2022), and in past years as well, too many people have been hurt by the throws. There are countless stories of boxes being thrown at crowds, big bags of beans hurled forcefully, and more. These occurrences are discouraging people from returning to Mobile, thus hurting our cities' finances and reputation. We would love to see solutions being enforced to prevent this from happening and hold any disobeying organization accountable. Below are some suggestions to have the "Safest Mardi Gras" on the Gulf Coast:
- Have a designated inspector check each float before they roll to ensure that there are absolutely no boxes.
- Beads must not be in bags, or thrown in bags.
- All throws must be in large bags.
- Enforce the municipal code (Chapter 49, Article III, Section 49-57 (6)) that says: "The conduct of the parade is not reasonably likely to cause injury to persons or property, to provoke disorderly conduct or create a disturbance"
- Hefty fines for organizations and members who do not follow these rules.
- Publicize tools to help attendees report incidents.
- Have a weight limit on throws.
- Keep track of fined organizations and make them public. This may be extreme, but after so many strikes, consider banning them from future parades.
- "Earlier today I was knocked unconscious in front of a place I like to frequent, by a bag of beads that were thrown at me at 1000 mpg from the very last float this afternoon." - Mike B.
- "I dodged a bag of beads on the corner of Government and Royal then got his square in the chest by a box of cookies and I was back aways." - Debbie K,
- "A very similar thing happened to me Saturday night in Mobile. I think I have a broken bone in my face. I'm not sure what the answer is. This isn't safe." - Janet L.
- "On Joe Cain day there was a particular float trying to take our head off." - Niichole H.
- "My cousin was hit in the face by a box of moon pies that someone threw hard and fast. Her face is swollen and bruised. She had a headache for the rest of the day." - Jessica I
- "And this is why I don't go to Mardi Gras" - Cynthia N.
There are many more stories like these. There is a Mobile City Ordinance (Chapter 49, Article III, Section 49-57, part 6) that says: The conduct of the parade is not reasonably likely to cause injury to persons or property, to provoke disorderly conduct or create a disturbance". Please enforce this ordinance in any possible way.
Mobile Mardi Gras should be as such as to where everyone who attends wants to come back, and for them to invite others. If there are things we can do to help ensure that, then let's do them. We are born to celebrate. Let's help people celebrate safely.