Asheville Mardi Gras Parade 2016

Asheville Mardi Gras held their ninth annual Mardi Gras parade in downtown Asheville on Sunday.

The parade lined up on Wall St. and began to move at 3:05 pm. According to the Asheville Mardi Gras’s website, the parade marched down Battery Park Avenue before moving through Haywood Street, finally looping back to Battery Park Avenue via Page Avenue.

This year’s parade, according to Asheville Mardi Gras’s website, had the theme of “Sinners versus Saints”. Asheville Mardi Gras reportedly chose this theme hoping that the New Orleans Saints would make it to the Super Bowl.

Although the Saints did not end up playing in the game, the parade was still held the same day as the Super Bowl. Despite this, Vaughn Talbert, who was participating in the parade for the second time, said he was not expecting the game to have a negative impact on the Mardi Gras festivities.

“I never really expect anything from the parade,” Talbert said. “It’s always just a crazy fun time.”

The parade is the latest in a series of events put on by Asheville Mardi Gras in 2016. According to their website, the organization recently held their Twelfth Night celebration and crowned their 2016 Mardi Gras king and queen.

This year's parade had no shortage of clowns.

This year’s parade had no shortage of clowns.

One of many festivalgoers getting into the Mardi Gras spirit.

One of many festivalgoers getting into the Mardi Gras spirit.

The presidential election is hard to avoid, even in a Mardi Gras parade.

The presidential election is hard to avoid, even in a Mardi Gras parade.

Many of the parade's participants wore costumes with a spiritual theme.

Many of the parade’s participants wore costumes with a spiritual theme.