Did you know Fort Morgan has a Mardi Gras Parade? The first Fort Morgan Mardi Gras Parade took place on Joe Cain day in 2019 with 30 vehicles and over 100 people participating. This year, the two ladies who dreamed up the idea, Gayle Pierce and Linda Kay, are hoping for an even bigger turn out.
Every Thursday, Pierce and Kay join friends in Foley to bowl and have a good time. It was on one of those outings that the parade idea bloomed. “We were on our way to bowling and I asked Linda ‘what do you think about Fort Morgan having a Mardi Gras parade?’”
“I looked at her and said I think that’s a great idea. Next year, right? And Gayle said, ‘No this year’,” Kay said laughing. “And she did it. Pulled it off in less than a month.”
Pierce was a member of a krewe for 12 years before making Fort Morgan her year-round home and she used her experience serving on boards and committees to make the dream a reality.
“I love Mardi Gras. I am all about the floats and the riding. I started asking around and talking to people and they helped me out. I asked Linda if she knew how to make Facebook pages and I put a post on I Love Fort Morgan Facebook page and people thought it was a good idea,” said Pierce.
“I started to follow through and people started guiding me on the proper things to do. The funniest thing was, someone said, ‘I think you need a permit’ and I’m thinking we can’t just go have a parade? I had to go to the Baldwin County Sherriff’s Department. We had to have liability insurance and had to create a parade route and go to the Baldwin County Commissioner’s office. Everyone had to approve it all,” said Pierce.
Pierce hopes to establish the Fort Morgan Parading Society and let groups and individuals participate in the parade each year. “We already have some groups forming like the Fort Morgan Drinking Club which Linda and I are members of. We have hats and t-shirts and a trailer for our float. There’s another group that has a theme every year and this year they are going to be Clash of the Titans and will be dressed up. And there’s a group of pirates.”
The parade route is roughly 2 miles starting at Triple Tail Lane and ending at Ponce de Leon Court and this year’s parade rolls at 1 p.m. Groups and individuals are encouraged to register to participate. Information can be found on the Fort Morgan Mardi Gras Parade Facebook page or email email@example.com. Forms can also be picked up at Behind the Pines, Sassy Bass and Tacky Jack's in Fort Morgan. There is no cost to enter.
“This is home grown. We have to make our own signs, put up the barricades. We have had donations from the restaurants that are helping to pay for everything. This parade brings everyone together. We want everyone to be safe and have a good time,” Pierce said.