Downtown businesses still partying Mardi Gras style

My Sister's Place says they expect to lose business because the Mardi Gras Street Festival was postponed but adds it won't be too bad / Sarah Bleau

Many of Downtown Albany's business say despite rain, shine or storms on Saturday, they'll be open and celebrating Mardi Gras style. News of the street festival being postponed for a week isn't stopping their parties.

"We have spent a lot of money on wonderful entertainment for this week, they're coming in from Atlanta so we're hoping people will still come out," says Ella Campbell, Manager of The Bar Code, who also already ordered double the liquor in anticipation of the Mardi Gras festival crowd.

Our Daily Bread says they plan to open early, at 7 a.m., for race spectators.

"We're actually going to stay open late - we have a couple singers that were going to come in and we called them and asked them if they still wanted to do it and they said yes," says Co-Owner Jason Warren.

Many of the downtown stores say the rain may work in their favor.

"Every day that we've had a rainstorm we have packed out so apparently rain is our good luck charm," says Campbell.

Warren says he expects many people to take shelter from the rain in Our Daily Bread and utilize the seating space.

"Those people (in the races) will move indoors and it's going to be a great push for us in the afternoon," says Jessica Blair, owner of Verge, who is celebrating the store's one year anniversary on Saturday.

The Snickers Marathon and Bike Race is still moving forward despite severe weather threats, but the street fair postponement has some downtown businesses worried. Organizers say it's possible those traveling out of state for the race on Saturday may not come back for the festival the next weekend.

"I'm sure that we will lose some business since it's been postponed but I don't think it will be that big of a deal," says Missy Whitney, owner of My Sister's Place.

But businesses are trying not to let the rain delay dampen their spirits.

"The majority of those that are running the race and doing the bike race in the morning, they're already in town so I'm already seeing an influx of people visiting the store and shopping," says Jessica Blair, owner of Verge, a store celebrating it's one year anniversary on Saturday.

The downtown businesses also hope the rain delay gives them a second weekend of strong sales.

"We'll hopefully by some chance get two good weekends out of it," says Warren.

Campbell says, "We're going to try to get some additional people in for next weekend and we're just going to party a second time around."