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One of the soggiest Fat Tuesdays in recent memory didn't dampen the spirits of revelers, including Howard and Normal Silverman of Fort Myers, Fla.

The couple were in town for their first Mardi Gras experience in 60 years the last time either said they attended a Carnival was in New Orleans.

"Despite the weather, we are enjoying it," Howard Silverman, 81, said, standing next to Norma, 78, on the balcony at the Admiral Semmes Hotel along Government Street.

The couple was in town along with more than 125 others who were a part of Road Scholars, an educational traveling group offered to people ages 60 and above.

The Silvermans watched as the Order of Athena kicked off the day's parades with "Timeless Memories." The 10-float parade featured a colorful array of attractions, including the 1955 float, "Don't Feed the Clowns," and "Time Machine," complete with gears and years listed with five-year intervals from 1955.

Another float, the Y2K 2000 Millennium, took part in a parade full of people tossing cups, beads, Moon Pies and stuffed animals to crowds that were heavily dressed in rain gear.

"It's a lackluster crowd because of the rain," said Elissa Tesney of Mobile, who held her 3-year-old daughter, Mary Helen, and was with 11-year-old son, Brett.

Brett Tesney was with a friend tossing around a Nerf football.

"It's nice. It's not crowded, as the boys are able to play football," Elissa Tesney said.

The Mobile Police Department estimated that 63,275 people attended the Fat Tuesday parades. That's a significant drop from last year's holiday,

Heavier rains arrived in time for the 139th edition of the Knights of Revelry parade. The theme, "Mouths of the South," featured an array of floats with an odd southern flair.

On Time? Both parades started on time and drove past the Admiral Semmes Hotel relatively fast. With heavy rains coming down at times, there was no time to stall. The Comic Cowboys parade immediately followed the Knights of Revelry.

Weather: Very wet. At least there was no severe weather.

Best float: The Order of Athena parade featured a colorful traveling circus complete with clowns, tigers, elephants, and what not. For an added enjoyment, the back end of the float had a caged area with a sign saying, "Don't feed the clowns." Knights of Revelry's "Snowball Chance in Hell" showcased a terrified snowman chased by the jaws of a demon.

Whoops: As the Order of Athena's unicorn float drove by, we couldn't help but notice a missing number at the end of the year it was attempting to showcase. "197?"

Stingy or generous? The smaller crowd this year had prime opportunity to catch plenty of stuff. It was not uncommon to see families leaving with large bags of stuffed animals.

Best throw: Wet and hungry revelers probably enjoyed the full boxes of Little Debbie's Honey Buns that were tossed out during the KOR parade.

Pitchers and catchers report: The Mobile BayBears had the soggy and slightly chilled revelers thinking about warm summer nights watching baseball as they walked in the Order of Athena parade.

Best float name: That would go to the KOR float entitled, "Caught with your pants down." That's probably how many vendors felt during the past two days of Mardi Gras, given the smaller crowds due to the nasty weather.

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