Mardi Gras!!! Yes, it’s slowly approaching and being from Mobile, Alabama, us “Mobilians” can hardly wait for the upcoming celebrations to begin. Mobile is not only recognized as celebrating the first-known American Mardi Gras celebration in 1703, (yes, even before New Orleans), but also as home of “America’s Family Mardi Gras”, delighting both young and old from around town and across the nation. This magnificent celebration lasts for over two and a half weeks and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. For weeks the streets of downtown Mobile are filled with the sights and sounds of live marching bands, brilliant-colored floats and, of course, large crowds of parade goers.
The floats are glowing spectacles manned by masked riders dressed in satin and sequins, and armed with crowd-pleasing “throws” such as beads, moon pies, stuffed animals and candy. Mardi Gras must be experienced to be fully understood and Mobile is the perfect place. When Iberville and Bienville founded Mobile and set up a colony at 27 mile bluff in 1702, the French soldiers who occupied the fort celebrated Mardi Gras at the appropriate time. It has been part of Mobile’s traditional history ever since that day. Even the Spanish and later the English observed the festival approaching Lent throughout Mobile’s history.
Mobile still uses this time to signify the birth of spring. While some segments of the Christian Church deny any connection with this celebration, the fact is the early Christian Church created this celebration to help solidify the Christian movement throughout the world. Today, in Mobile, we focus on the positive aspects of this celebration of spring which was created by the Christian Church in 325 A.D. Our version of Mardi Gras concentrates on the wholesome family type atmosphere produced by street parades and public socializing. This is punctuated by individual groups of citizens joining together to celebrate the season with balls, receptions and pageantry.
So, if you’re looking for a good time for the whole family, come down to Mobile, Alabama and join the party! LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL!