Port Arthur prepares for the Mardi Gras crowds

The sounds of welding surround downtown Port Arthur. On Thursday, you'll hear the sounds of revelers hoping to catch those fancy beads.

Before the gates open and the crowds come pouring in, workers are hustling trying to put their plans into place.

"We're going to close these gates right here. Then, go to the other side and close the middle side," said Armando Hernandes with Hinds Quality Fence.

As workers, like Hernandes, put up the gates around Procter Street, the businesses on the inside of the gate are preparing their party play lists.

"It's a lot of fun. The club is normally packed and we enjoy ourselves and everybody. We just have a great time," said Joshua Stevens with Speak Easy Lounge and Restaurant.

This year's theme is "Island Fever" and the drinks will go with the theme.

Speak Easy will have hurricanes on the sidewalk.

"Along with that, we'll have two big speakers upstairs in the windows overlooking the street playing Mardi Gras music," said Stevens.

Stevens is hoping to see dancing in the street and he's hoping to attract customers to enjoy his red beans and rice in his restaurant.

The floats are staged at the Port of Port Arthur. They'll line the seawall Thursday then travel down Procter Street for the first parade of Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas, the Courir Parade.

Join 12News Thursday through Sunday for complete Mardi Gras coverage.

For a complete list of parades, concerts and ticket prices, log onto www.mardigrastx.com.


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