Many people associate Mardi Gras with the city of New Orleans, which holds a large Mardi Gras celebration every year. Other cities and towns, including Albany, Georgia, also celebrate Mardi Gras with revelry, Cajun food, lively music and good cheer. The Albany Mardi Gras has a specific character and flavor with which the residents imbue their celebration.
Mardi Gras has its roots in the early days of the Christian Church when Church leaders incorporated the Roman Lupercalia carnival into a pre-Lenten celebration. The Church officials wanted to allow Christians to enjoy a big festival before the strictures of Lent. Many French cities celebrated a Mardi Gras and early French explorers introduced the festival into New Orleans. The continued French presence in the area made the New Orleans Mardi Gras into one of the best known celebrations, but other localities also run Mardi Gras festivities.
Albany's Mardi Gras
Albany, Georgia, a town of approximately 75,000 people, prides itself on its community spirit and its friendly attitude towards visitors. With this attitude, Albany serves as a perfect location for a Mardi Gras which brings people together in an atmosphere of unity and joy. As of the date of publication, the Albany Mardi Gras charges a $5 admission for adults and free admission for children 14 and under. The festival takes place on the Saturday before the Lent season begins. It runs from noon until midnight. The festival takes place on the 200 block of Broad Street in downtown Albany.
Albany Mardi Gras kids' activities include an entertainment stage for kids, a pet parade, a petting zoo, an animal show, rock climbing, face painting, a jumping house, dancing clowns and games with prizes. Adults will find plenty to do at the Albany Mardi Gras including watching the Broad Avenue street festival performers, enjoying the Amphitheater Stage music performers and rocking to the Mardi-Rock at the State Theatre. All Mardi Gras visitors will delight over the delicious Cajun and Southern delicacies served by vendors at the festival.
Albany Visitors Center
People attending Mardi Gras in Albany can obtain more information about the festival from the Albany Visitors Center (see Resources). In addition to information about Mardi Gras, the Visitors Center of Albany can provide information about other activities and sites in the area such as the historic Albany Civil Rights Institute, Confederate Memorial Park and the train exhibit at the Thronateeska Heritage Center. The Visitors Center also has information about nature areas near Albany including Hillsman Park, Radium Springs Gardens and RiverFront Park. You can ask about the Albany region's arts options, such as the Albany Museum of Art, Ray Charles Plaza and the Albany Theater.
- New Orleans Online; History of Mardi Gras; Arthur Hardy
- United States Census Bureau: Albany, Georgia
- "Albany Herald"; Albany Celebrates Mardi Gras; Pete Skiba; Mar. 6, 2011
- Facebook: Albany Mardi Gras Street Festival
- Fox 31 Online; Downtown Albany's Mardi Gras Weekend Will Go On "Rain or Shine"; Sarah Bleau; Mar. 4, 2011
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images