12th Night ushering in 2023 Carnival Season

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 9:21 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Let the good times roll! 12th Night is the official start of Carnival Season. From the king cakes to the beads -- Mardi Gras is back!

Four weeks from Friday -- the Conde Cavaliers will get the party started in downtown Mobile -- but in a lot of ways the celebration has already begun.

Five days into the new year -- and Toomey’s Mardi Gras says they’ve already doubled business from this same time last year.

“I think people are ready for Mardi Gras. We had a customer just yesterday said they need it more than ever right now,” said Stephen Toomey, Owner of Toomey’s Mardi Gras.

While the Port City’s Mardi Gras headquarters has it all -- when it comes to the beads, masks, and even moonpies -- they too are seeing supply chain issues.

“We get a lot of our stuff from overseas -- but we’re fortunate that we have some very loyal suppliers that we’ve been dealing with for 30 plus years -- so that makes a huge difference. But it has been rather hectic this year,” explained Toomey.

Still they say there’s more than enough to go around... And if you need to look the part they’ll hook you up.

“We’ve got ties, traditional Mobile Mardi Gras ties, purple and gold, skinny ties, bow ties,” said Toomey. “We’ve got jewelry... Oh these shoes are really cool -- we just got these in about a month ago and I think they’re going to be a real hot seller.”

They’ve also got you covered with home decor. Bryan Clark is getting some purple, green, and gold must haves!

“I’m decorating the front of my house in Baldwin County,” said Clark, “Oh I don’t know it’s just a happy time for people -- it’s a family time too. So yes it’s a lot of fun!”

And 12th Night -- not only ushering the Carnival Season -- but all those king cakes!

“So these king cakes behind me were made in New Orleans this morning... And brought over to us - and now they’re here for you,” said Nicole Moore, Urban Emporium Store Manager.

Downtown’s Urban Emporium has specialty king cakes from Nonna Randazzo’s in New Orleans with so many flavors to choose from (Traditional, Cream Cheese, Apple, Strawberry, Cherry, Pecan Praline, Blueberry).

“This is a cream cheese king cake -- that I got for myself. So we’re about to dig in here shortly to taste the goodness and get the season started,” said Moore.

Danielle Nicholas -- one of the first to put in a pre-order.

“I came down and tomorrow is my dad’s birthday. And he passed away on New Year’s Eve last year. And his funeral was on his birthday last year on January 6th. And my mom is coming into town and we are planning a birthday -- just get together with family,” said Nicholas.

It’s bittersweet because her dad -- Bill Chambers -- used to organize a fundraiser for St. Thomas By The Sea Catholic Church in Orange Beach -- selling Randazzo’s king cakes.

“I know he’s probably smiling down. Happy. He loved them,” said Nicholas.

The king cakes are $35 dollars. Pre-orders can be placed at Urban Emporium all week until Tuesday at 3 p.m. to guarantee a cake by Thursday through Mardi Gras season.

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