Posted by: Waheeda Harris | September 16, 2014

Mobile is Mardi Gras

Did you know Mardi Gras was first celebrated in the United States in Mobile, Alabama and not New Orleans?

Alabama - Mobile Carnival Museum

Alabama - Carnival Museum

First celebrated in 1703, Mardi Gras’s unique beginnings in Mobile thanks to its French Catholic population. This group to the creation of traditions that are all about pomp and circumstance and fun and parades. Like the robe seen above, the coronation of Mardi Gras king and queens are the highlight of the two and a half week celebrations that precede Lent.

Alabama - Carnival Museum royalty

At the Carnival Museum, visitors can learn about the city’s traditions, which are different from New Orleans. Mardi Gras societies (instead of krewes) organize each of their parades, and throws include moon pies as well as beads, candy and toys.

Alabama - Carnival Museum capes

And the pageantry of the Mardi Gras balls is equally over the top – with ladies of the town dressed in their finery and the kings and queens suitably attired in royal robes, often depicting the past family’s connections, like this purple cape on the left. Tradition is paramount in this city when it comes to Mardi Gras.

Alabama - Mobile Mardi Gras

But there’s still plenty of room for fun – this gallery of historical costumes shows off the past styles of parade participants. For the lovely young debutantes who are also part of the Mardi Gras season, their delicate style seems so simple in comparison to their sparkly counterparts:

Alabama - Carnival Museum debs

But don’t worry, there’s always irreverent fun too:

Alabama - Carnival Museum crazy

History, tradition, fun – this museum provides a wealth of information about Mardi Gras – now I know I need to experience the dropping of the giant Moon Pie, and experience this city’s Mardi Gras. Throw me something!

 

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