Island Mystics Mardi Gras

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DAUPHIN ISLAND — It was 15 minutes until 1 p.m. Saturday, and the Island Mystics Mardi Gras parade was about to begin.

For Lee Morrison and other vendors, though, the day was about to end.

She’d been working Bienville Boulevard since about 10 a.m., selling bags of pink cotton candy out of a shopping cart. With the floats about to roll, Morrison was trying to get in a few last sales before she would have to get out of the way.

Morrison, of Morrison Show Fronts, said she has been working Carnival parades for about 15 years, but her roots as an event vendor stretch much further back than that. She is a fifth-generation carnival worker and has traveled from Miami to New York for parades and fairs.

“My life’s in carnival,” the Mobile native said. “We’ve traveled all over. I’ve been traveling my whole life.”

Morrison said her family owns Diamond State Amusements, which sets up rides at state fairs. Of all the events, though, she said Carnival season is her favorite.

The family business might not live to a sixth generation, however. Her 17-year-old daughter, Ashley, was helping out Saturday. But she said her ambitions lie with nursing.

“I’ll at least go to college, and then I’ll know I have something,” she said.

The weather for Dauphin Island’s second parade of the year could not have been better, and hundreds of folks seemed to enjoy the captain-themed procession, with pirate floats and other boat floats passing by.

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