Daphne to update Mardi Gras ordinance

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 4:33 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 at 1:30 PM CST
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DAPHNE, Ala. (WALA) - The city of Daphne is rewriting several old ordinances to bring them up-to-date and read more clearly. One of them has to do with Mardi Gras parades and what organizations can and can’t do. City leaders said safety is the primary focus, but that’s not all. The old ordinance also dictated where moon pies should come from. That language will be changed as well.

Daphne prides itself in having family-friendly Mardi Gras parades. It’s something the city has stressed to its parading organizations over the years. The City Clerk recently pulled an ordinance written two decades ago and suggested some changes be made to it.

Rewritten ordinance will set some guidelines on what parading organizations can't do
Rewritten ordinance will set some guidelines on what parading organizations can't do(WALA)

“You don’t want to throw something over two pounds. That could cause a concern of someone getting hit. That type of thing. One of them was no frozen foods. Well, that’s just general…no fruits, no you know, produce can be thrown from a float. I mean things like that that you know are kind of common sense. Well, you put it in there to make sure it’s clear,” explained Daphne mayor, Robin LeJeune.

The soon-to-be rewritten ordinance will clearly state what Mardi Gras organizations can’t do. Glass objects and wooden items (aside from doubloons) will also be banned.

Parents, like Allie Gonzalez are glad to see this action taken and hope it translates to a safer parade experience.

“I think that’s great,” Gonzalez said. “We do love taking our kids to Mardi Gras and to the parades, but you know, safety is really important. Uhm, yeah. I worry about them getting hit in the head and things like that.”

Another bit of language in the old ordinance states that organizations can only throw moon pies that aren’t foreign made. That will be changed in the rewrite as well. LeJeune said no one in the current administration knows why that is there and it doesn’t make sense.

“It’s one of those things, when you look through the ordinances, you find these things. You don’t know what the time period was, what was going on at the time, what the Council was thinking and so, we just try to do our best to help clarify for the future,” said LeJeune.

The mayor said there was no incident that initiated this action…just simple housekeeping. However, it will give a clear guideline to Apollo’s Mystic Lady’s and the Shadow Barons as to what’s allowed to be thrown. It will also give the city a level of liability protection if an organization violates the ordinance and someone was to get hurt.

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