City of Galveston officials hosted a news conference for the regional media at the San Luis Resort and Conference Center on Thursday, prior to a reception launching the 2009 Mardi Gras Celebration.
"We are ready for Mardi Gras '09," said Galveston Mayor Pro Tem Danny Weber, after an opening performance by Allison Parker, an international flame dancer. "We are only nine days away from kick-off and we are prepared for the most tremendous 'after Ike' event that you are going to see anywhere. Laissez Le Bon Temps Roulet!"
Deputy City Manager Brandon Wade said that the city is prepared for Mardi Gras while the Hurricane Ike recovery effort continues.
"Any of the funding that we are using in order to move forward with this is not funding that we could legally use for recovery and not funding that we could use for typical operations and maintenance," Wade said. "We're not diverting any City staff that would otherwise be working on recovery."
"We are going to have a safe event," said Police Chief Charles Wiley. "As we speak we have staff preparing for the event, ensuring that we have sufficient officers on duty and at that those posts that are critical to the success of Mardi Gras are manned by police officers."
"This year is the 98th year for Mardi Gras Galveston," said RoShelle Gaskins, public relations manager for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's a privilege to continue it in spite of Ike."
Gaskins noted that admission to the entertainment district is free this year.
"Downtown is going to be alive with live entertainment, bead throwing, parades, parties and festivities all along the island."
For a schedule of parades and other events visit www.mardigrasgalveston.com.