KEYE-TV - Search Results
Mardi Gras, Mother Nature and Downtown Businesses
The Big Easy hits the capital of Texas. Thousands of people are descending on downtown Austin to celebrate Mardi Gras on Saturday.
Beads on, friends in town, Lilly Aguayo isn't letting a little rain dampen her night's plans.
"You gotta celebrate it rain or shine," said Aguayo, visiting from Corpus Christi.
With Mardi Gras tonight and the Big 5-0 on Sunday, Aguayo has plenty to celebrate. Downtown business owners are
hoping on Saturday night she's the rule, not the exception, because of Mother Nature.
"It's definitely a bit of a wet blanket on the deal," said Bob Woody, President of East 6th Street Community Association, of the chances for rain and storms. "That just keeps some of the girls away. If they're there, the guys are coming."
Woody owns, managers, or is involved with 22 properties downtown. He says Mardi Gras is one of their biggest weekends of the year.
"I would normally compare it to a football weekend," said Woody. "If your normal Saturday's 100%, this Saturday’d be 130%."
Woody says it's also when businesses on Sixth Street start seeing a major boost after a month-long lull during UT’s winter break.
Around 8 p.m. Saturday there were plenty of police but still not many revelers in the streets.
"If it was completely dry, we would be busier," said Woody, who like other managers is hoping the rain stays away until closing time, and if not, they'll get another go-around in three days.
"The best Tuesday of the entire year," said Woody.
Austin Police officials declined to release how many officers are downtown but told us the number is "significantly more" than a typical weekend. They are also holding a no-refusal initiative overnight Saturday and Tuesday to crack down on drunk driving.
By Adam Bennett