A new major public park honoring Mobile’s Mardi Gras heritage is now open to the public.
After nearly a year of construction, the City of Mobile announced Tuesday the official opening of Mardi Gras Park downtown.
The project’s first phase cost $2.5 million and laid the groundwork for future development of the massive downtown greenspace.
Nearly $1 million for the first phase was privately funded through the Hearin-Chandler Foundation. The contribution funded the new Mardi Gras-related statues that line the new park and other markers linking Mobile’s history to the festival that draws hundreds of thousands of people to downtown every February.
The city hopes the formerly vacant downtown property will become a new popular public gathering spot during Mardi Gras parades and other downtown events. The new park is envisioned to be much like the popular and iconic parks and markets in New Orleans and Charleston.
City officials said the total cost of the park will be about $5 million once additional phases are completed at the site that once was home the county’s past courthouses. The property is in a visible location next to the History Museum of Mobile, Fort Conde, the Gulf Coast Exploreum and Government Plaza. The second phase will cost about $2 million.
Phase two will include the creation of a new pavilion to host vendors and events like the French Market in the Vieux Carre of New Orleans.
“This area we hope becomes a real magnet for the future,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said at the ceremony. “It’s a great day for the City of Mobile.”