MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - When the Mardi Gras parades roll by, the vendors roll in.
Hundreds peddle to the crowds downtown to make a living selling food and novelty items of all kinds, but vendors say sales are down, and this could be the worst Carnival season in years.
"It has been slow," said Linda, a food stand owner. "The economy is bad, people are unemployed, so they can't come down here and spend like they normally do."
Linda is responsible for the food stands at the corner of St. Francis Street and Conception streets. She said sales are down not only for her, but many of her friends in the business.
"I've talked to a lot of them and that's just life," Linda said. "There's nothing you can do about it. You have to take the bad with the good."
Mardi Gras, for many, is come out and have fun, but for Linda and others, it's a living. She says sales are down this year by 50 percent.
Cindy Tyon of Mellow Yellow Kitchen is new to the block and the business. For a boost, she took her restaurant on wheels.
Her tires aren't flat - her sales are.
"It's not nearly as good as I thought it was going to be," Tyon said. "But I'm hoping as the Mardi Gras season gets kicking off we'll have better business. I thought this was a really good location right down here on the Square. We've been a little steady but I would think it would be better."
Tyon isn't even sure business will get better for the evening parades.
"I'm hoping so, since it's the weekend, the kids are out of school, and so we just don't know. We'll have to wait and see," Tyon said. "I know last night we didn't do that well."
If you plan to get out for the parade season and help these vendors recover, make sure you bring cash. Plastic doesn't work at Mardi Gras.
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