Mardi Gras parade5-bc.jpg

A scene from the 2017 Talladega Mardi Gras Parade. The 2018 parade, set for Saturday, was canceled due to the threat of inclement weather. 

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

TALLADEGA -- The 23rd annual Talladega Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for Saturday, has been canceled, according to Historic Ritz Theatre Executive Director George Culver.

“It was a very tough decision, but with the forecast showing a 90 percent chance of rain for Saturday, it was something we had to do.” he said. “This is the first time we’ve had to cancel in the parade’s history. We are sorry to everyone who had made plans to attend.”

Culver said one of the key reasons behind the cancellation was the more than 40 shriners having to travel across the state.

“We are hoping to schedule future Mardi Gras parades the Saturday prior to our gala, so there can be an ample time frame to reschedule if needed,” he said.

Culver said the theatre will be selling the moon pies ordered for the parade by the case.

“We will have prices available Monday for any churches or organizations who may want to resell them or distribute them,” he said. “They can call the Ritz next week to schedule a pickup, if interested.”

The Ritz executive director stressed Saturday’s Mardi Gras Gala, scheduled for 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. at the Talladega Superspeedway Fox Sports 1 Dome, will still go on, and tickets are still available for purchase.

“The gala is our biggest annual fundraiser, with net proceeds going towards Ritz programming, including our ambitious arts education initiatives with area schools that impact over 5,000 students each school year,” Culver said.

Tickets are $85 for a single, $170 for a pair and $680 for a table of eight. To have a name reserved table, the cost will be an additional $50.

If interested in attending, contact the Ritz Theatre office by 5 p.m. Friday at 256-315-0000.