Apollo's Mystic Ladies set to kick off Mardi Gras in Baldwin Cou - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Apollo's Mystic Ladies set to kick off Mardi Gras in Baldwin County

DAPHNE, AL (WALA) -

Apollo’s Mystic Ladies (AML) has been getting ready for the parade and ball since last April.  There’s a lot that goes into putting on a spectacular event like will be seen in the streets of Daphne Friday night, February 2, 2018 and at the ball that will follow.  The theme for this year’s AML parade is, “Wild Night on Main Street” and these ladies are ready to party.

The floats rolled in through Daphne Friday morning, making their annual trip across the bay from Mobile.  The group borrows the Conde Cavaliers’ floats, so there’s no shortage of room for riders and throws.  The floats were staged and the ballroom decorated, but for these ladies there was still a lot of work to be done before parade time.

“We are doing a lot of hair, makeup and glitter,” said ball chairperson, Heather Nelson.

For the first time, AML has its own float barn and can gather together to get ready for the parade and ball.  With a little help from students at Genesis Career College in Daphne, they’ll be ready to go.  Now in their eighteenth year, AML looks forward to being the kickoff to Mardi Gras in Baldwin County and the eastern shore.

“I feel a lot of excitement…no anxiety.  Today is the day that we just really enjoy it, have fun and try to relax, but it’s so exciting,” Nelson said.

“My favorite part is the parade.  I love to throw,” said AML charter member, Kelly Drinkwine.  “I could stay on that float for five hours and throw if I had enough stuff to throw.  It’s just so much fun.  The people in the streets are just so excited.”

This year, Apollo’s Mystic Ladies will be celebrating in memory of one of their own charter members, Michele Hanson who passed away three weeks ago.

“Tonight, we all ride for her.  It’s bitter-sweet, but it’s a day of celebration,” said Hanson’s friend, Beth Davis.  “We do not mourn her.  We celebrate her life and this is a sisterhood.”

Becky Schaffer is holding that sisterhood together this year as Queen of AML.  She said there is a lot of pride in being the first parade in Baldwin County and her ladies know what the crowd expects.

“The people are going to expect a lot of throws tonight.  Everybody’s been posting on Facebook how many throws they’ve gotten and we throw a lot of specialty items,” Schaffer said.  “It’s thousands of moon pies and necklaces, but we’ve got stuffed animals and all kinds of specialty items.”

Fox 10 News will also have a float in the parade and your favorite personalities will be tossing some specialty items of our own.  The parade stats at the Daphne Civic Center at 6:45 p.m. and will head south on Main Street. 

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