Mobile Police: Nelly concert will be alcohol free, expect extra police presence on parade nights

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 6:00 PM CST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Residents in the port city are ready to let the good times roll with the city’s first Mardi Gras parade this Friday.

“We’ve been down here all my life,” said Paul Williams. “We’re pretty excited.”

The first Friday of the season will be a packed one. Starting with the Conde Cavaliers parade which will lead up to the free Nelly concert in Mardi Gras Park. To help with safety Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine says the concert will be an alcohol-free zone.

“Unfortunately, when you mix alcohol in a party event like that everyone can’t handle the alcohol and it opens itself up to arguments and disagreements,” said Prine.

The alcohol ban starts 30 minutes before the concert and lasts until 30 minutes after. Prine says alcohol will still be allowed along the route as long as parade goers leave it outside the concert area.

“It will be vigorously enforced. We want to ensure Mobilians can enjoy the free concert, but we need to ensure their safety,” added Prine.

To help, Mobile Police is adding extra officers downtown for the concert and for each parade night.

“There will be officers down there on motors, there will be officers down there on corner posts, certainly mounted patrol,” said Prine. “We’ll also have undercover officers behind the crowd.”

Prine says a new challenge for officers this year will be the permit less carry law, but even with the new law he says officers are allowed to stop people under probable cause.

“If you’re involved in an altercation with another individual, if you’re underage drinking that give officers probable cause to stop you,” said Prine.

Prine is urging people not to bring their own weapons to the parades. He says if you are stopped you are required to tell an officer if you have a weapon if asked or you could be arrested. The officer also can see if the weapon is stolen and if the person is allowed to have one.

“We will be very assertive in stopping criminal behavior this year certainly because of the New Year’s Eve shooting,” said Prine. “We’ll be mindful of your time and if you’re not involved in any criminal activity, you’ll be on your way to continue your festivities.”

Chief Prine did also mention that they’re bringing in additional lighting for some of the darker parts of the parade routes and of course if you hear or see something you’re urged to go to the nearest officer.


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