Mardi Gras Safety Tips
Mobile Police want to remind the public of the following Mardi Gras information and safety tips:
No Parking Areas
Be sure to look for the special purple and gold "no parking" signs along parade routes to ensure your vehicle is safe. Watch the video below to learn more about where to find these signs and how to avoid being towed.
Towed vehicles will be taken to a Temporary Impound Lot under I-10 off Monroe Street between northbound and southbound Water Street. The lot will be open until 11:00 p.m. each parade night. Vehicles not retrieved by that time will be moved to the permanent impound facility behind the Mobile Police Department Training Academy at 1251 Virginia Street. To find out if your vehicle has been towed, call 251-208-1281.
The cost to retrieve a vehicle from either of the impound lots is $150. Only cash, debit cards or Master Card and Visa credit cards will be accepted. Motorists picking up their towed vehicles must present a valid driver's license, proof of ownership (registration, a tag receipt, etc.) and proof of current insurance.
Most vehicles are towed because of parking violations. The Mobile Police Department will begin closing streets in the downtown area one hour before each scheduled parade. Non-parking areas will be designated by signage, including special gold Mardi Gras "No Parking" signs along the parade routes.
RV parking on the medians along Claiborne and Canal Streets is prohibited. There will be RV parking underneath I-10 at Canal and Water Streets for a fee.
Police are emphasizing that parents make every effort to place an identity card in their child's pocket in the event they become separated from each other. The card should provide the name of the child, address, telephone contact numbers and the name of a relative.
In the event parents and children are separated, children should be instructed to go to the nearest police officer. Police will attempt to contact the parents and the children will be taken to Central Precinct located at 55 N. Water Street until they can be reunited.
Citizens are being asked to refrain from calling 911 or the Mobile Police Department's non-emergency number for Mardi Gras information requests. Those requests should be addressed by dialing 311, the city's information line, or to www.311.cityofmobile.org.
Other safety tips include:
- Attend parades in groups, with family or friends.
- Glass containers are prohibited by city ordinance
- Do not follow floats. Violators may be arrested.
- Do not throw any object in the direction of floats, band members or any parade participants. Violators may be arrested.
- Materials known as "Silly String" and "Snap & Pops" along with similar products are illegal. Possession of any these products may result in arrest.
- Do not cross the barricades. Each officer will be carrying a ticket book and will be issuing citations for the offense. The fine for crossing the barricades is $298.
- No underage drinking is allowed. Special undercover police details arrest violators.
- If you need police assistance during a parade, go to the nearest intersection and advise a uniformed police officer.
- Choose a well-lit area for night parade viewing.
- Establish a post-parade meeting place for family and friends in case you become separated.
- Park vehicles in secure areas and do not leave valuables in plain sight. Utilize the trunk to store valuables.
- Uniformed and plainclothes officers will be patrolling behind the crowds to identify and arrest persons engaging in criminal activity.
- Pets are prohibited during the parades downtown.
- Skateboards and motorized scooters are prohibited.
Post-Parade Clean Up
After the last firetruck of each parade rolls through, please immediately clear the area and do not cross the barricades for street cleaning. Following the end of the parade is a team of street sweepers and people clearing the streets of trash, followed by a team breaking down and moving the barricades out of the way. You can learn more about how the City of Mobile cleans after a parade in the video below.
Mardi Gras is the best celebration around, but it can create a huge mess. It is also our responsibility as a community to celebrate without impacting our creeks, rivers, and bays. So once again, this Mardi Gras we encourage you to party on, and pick it up! ADD THIS AT THE END -- We've placed Purple Mardi Gras Garbage carts across the entire parade route. Use them! There are also blue recycling bins around the parks for empty cans and bottles (aluminum, plastic and glass).
Here’s what our partners at Mobile Baykeeper suggest:
- Earn those throws.
- Catch throws, place them in a reusable bag to take home with you or give them to a nearby child to make their night even more magical.
- Pickup what is left behind.
- Throw it in a nearby trash can and recycle when possible; encourage your friends to do the same.
- Place a trash can outside your business or residence if you are along the parade route to make it even easier for people to properly dispose of items.
- Share your Mardi Gras pictures on social media using #LitterFreeMG or #PartyOnJustPickItUp to help us spread the message.