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Mobile, Alabama stocked up on beads, ready for Mardi Gras

Elaborate Mardi Gras costume
Elaborate Mardi Gras costumePhoto by Kevin Wierzbicki

They have a saying around Mobile Bay, Alabama that the area is “secretly awesome.” That’s a nice slogan but there’s no way, when you’re getting ready to throw one of the biggest parties on the planet, to keep the details under wraps. And of course the fun-loving folks in Mobile don’t want to keep a secret anyway; everybody is welcome to come to town for Mardi Gras.

When you think of Mardi Gras you may think of Louisiana but the very first Mardi Gras celebration in America (the party migrated from Europe) took place in Mobile way back in 1703 and they’ve been going at it ever since. Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) falls on March 4 this year but there’s a whole month's worth of fun to be had leading up to the big day. The first event to take place is the Krewe de la Dauphine parade that happens on nearby Dauphin Island on February 1. The action moves to Mobile on February 14 when the city’s downtown Mardi Gras celebration kicks off with the Conde Cavalier Parade, with more than 30 other parades scheduled for the ensuing couple of weeks. Colorful and colorfully-named processions such as the Pharoah’s Mystic Society Parade, the Order of the Polka Dots parade, the Maids of Mirth parade and the Order of the Inca Parade will strut through town tossing beads, candy, Moon Pies, doubloons and other assorted trinkets to curbside revelers. And parades will occur pretty much non-stop on Mardi Gras beginning with the Order of Athena at 10:30 a.m.; four others will roll before the Order of Myths parade wraps things up at 6:00 p.m.

For a complete schedule of events visit the Mobile Bay Mardi Gras Facebook page.

To plan your trip to Mobile click over to the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau website.