Dothan gears up for 7th annual Mardi Gras parade

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- Cities like Mobile and Pensacola play host to Mardi Gras events every year but you don't have to leave home to get in on the fun this year.

In less than 48 hours the City of Dothan will have thousands of people lining the streets... That's because the annual Mardi Gras parade is coming to town.

Floats will look a little different come Saturday that's because Krewe of Kolosse is hosting it's 7th straight Mardi Gras celebration in Dothan.

"It started out with a group of guys who got together and said you know what it's hard to get to with life, with family, with kids it's hard to get to Mobile and New Orleans to go see Mardi Gras, let's just bring Mardi Gras here to Dothan," Drew Wyatt, membership chairman for Krewe of Kolosse.

Since 2014, KOK has brought Mardi Gras to the Wiregrass but this year's event is expected to be the biggest ever.

"Everything that Dothan has to offer we want to promote it, we want to bring people in. Last year we had 35 to 40 thousand people, we're looking for 50 to 60 thousand this year, we want everyone to come together and enjoy Dothan that's what we're all about," Wyatt said.

The parade will include more than 30 floats that will throw items such as frisbees, cups, and beads into the crowd.

"Soul Train. We've been working every weekend since November to get it up and going, we know it's one of the floats everyone likes to see coming, they enjoy it so everyone wants to step it up each year. Everyone starts around November, December but in the last 3 to 4 weekends this place has been buzzing," Wyatt said.

It's a way to bring more people to downtown businesses.

"Every year the crowd gets bigger and bigger and there's more reason to come to downtown Dothan now so if you come for the parade there's multiple places to have lunch, there's multiple place to shop, there's great coffee downtown," Christy Keyton, owner of Naomi and Olive/Bird and Bean said.

And that brings the community of Dothan together.

"To give back to the community, help the community grow. You'll find out from our crew we love Dothan, Alabama, everything that Dothan has to offer we want to promote it, want to bring people in," Wyatt said.

The parade will start at Solomon Park Saturday at 3 pm and end on Foster Street.

There will be a MKOH after-party at The Plant featuring KJams.