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Mardi Gras Mobile Style

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Catepillar float in Order of Myths parade Mobile, AL

With the Mardi Gras celebrations well under way the sounds of marching bands and french creole Jazz can be heard from the streets. Most people think of New Orleans when they hear of Mardi Gras, but Mardi Gras actually originated right here in Mobile, AL by a colony of French soldiers in 1703. The original celebration was called Boef Gras (Fat Beef). Many years later, on New Years Eve of 1830, Joseph Krafft and several of his friends set out to keep the party going. After a night of dinner and drinks they raided a local hardware store and began marching the streets of Mobile with rakes, hoes and cowbells. The Cowbellion de Rakin Society was born. Ten years later the mystic society awarded the streets with decorated floats and an organized parade theme. The group traveled to New Orleans in 1857 and the tradition Of "Nawlins" style Mardi Gras began and has transformed into what it is today.


Order of Inca parade during Carnival in Mobile, AL

The civil war put Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile on hiatis. That is until 1866 when Joseph Stillwell Cain decided he wanted to lift the city's morale. While Mobile was still occupied by the Union forces, dressed in full Indian garb, Cain donned the streets of Mobile with a decorated wagon pulled by a mule.Thus the rebirth of Mardi Gras, Mobile style. Cain's role in the rebirth of Mardi Gras is observed each year on the Sunday before Fat Tuesday. On "Joe Cain Day" thousands of Mobilians come to the streets to honor the parade. Some in costume of Joe Cain's widows, and others donning brightly colored clothing and tossing beads and Moon Pies by the handfuls. Parade goers line the streets of Mobile each year in hopes of catching beads, memorablia cups and the southern tradition of varities of Moon Pies. Mobile's Mardi gras is a family oriented celebration with activities for all ages. 


Mardi Gras on Royal St. in Mobile, AL

Today, modern Mardi Gras parades can be experienced from the coast of Texas, throughout the south and extending the coastlines of The Gulf of Mexico. Mardi Gras season is traditonally marked by the date of Easter."Fat Tuesday" is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which begins the 40 days of Lenten season. Public festivities and parades traditionally begin about two weeks before "Fat Tuesday" and include Carnivals, Parties, Balls and receptions begining in the fall. There are local parades throught the city of Mobile as well as Baldwin County. Daupin Island also puts on a great Mardi Gras parade which can be accessed through both Mobile County and Baldwin county via The Mobile Bay Ferry. Come celebrate Mardi Gras, Mobile style, as we say, "Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler " (Let the good times roll). Mobile can easily be accessed from any major U.S. city via the Mobile Airport. Pensacola Airport is another alternate, which is only an hour drive.

 
For more info: Places to stay in and around Mobile www.mobile.org/ as well as coastalconcoctions.com/homeport-happenings/

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