Mixed reviews for Mardi Gras

While many students were soaking up the sun on spring break, the Burlington community turned out to celebrate Mardi Gras. UVM students and Burlington service industry workers said that this year’s Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade stirred different emotions and crowds due to the lack of students, who were on spring break. “Last year there were a lot of students there,” sophomore Sydney Hyatt said. “I enjoyed it more because I was able to see my friends everywhere.” Hyatt said that the vibes of this year’s parade were very different from last year’s and other students agreed. “I liked last year’s parade better because of the environment,” sophomore Stephanie Parente said. “I liked being on Church Street a lot more.” People who worked downtown during the parade said they noticed the change in the crowd, too. “It was more of a family-friendly event this year,” said Alex Budney, who works at Nectar’s on Main Street. There were more children and fewer college students, so it was a lot easier to clean up afterwards, Budney said. It was also expected that many bars would lose money because of the clash with UVM’s spring break, Budney said. “You would think that, but we did better,” he said. While Budney was keeping busy, other restaurants did not see a change in business. “I actually didn’t see any difference,” Graham Tittlady of Manhattan Pizza said. Although there was no difference in sales, this year’s parade was the cleanest and smoothest he had seen, Tittlady said.