Mardi Gras in Mobile

Mobile, the original birthplace of Mardi Gras (move over NOLA), is home to some of the oldest and most interesting Mardi Gras traditions. To most people on the outside looking in, Mardi Gras seems like one huge party—that's because it is! But even amidst the party, parades, and beads, there is a mystique that Mardi Gras has held on to even to this day. Here's some help understanding the fun, mystery, and tradition that is Mobile, Alabama's Mardi Gras. 

Growing up in Baton Rouge, LA, Mardi Gras was always larger than life. I saw glimpses of Mardi Gras at home in Baton Rouge, as well as the occasional trip to New Orleans during the month of February. And while New Orleans certainly takes the cake (king cake that is) on sheer size of the festival, Mobile has it's own vibe that is so incredibly special to the city, describing it is even difficult. Take for instance downtown, because of how much smaller the city is, a parade in Mobile is much easier to get up close and personal to.

The way that Mardi Gras is run is by Krewes. A Krewe is basically an members-only organization that is responsible for putting on the parades an/or balls that happen throughout Mardi Gras. All year long, Krewes oversee the building of their floats in secret and some even have dances and parties during the year exclusive to the members of their organizations. In the Mobile area, Krewes are planning from as early as Ash Wednesday of the previous year to make sure the coming Mardi Gras is better than the last.

A tradition unique to Mobile and definitely a must see attraction is called Joe Cain day (Sunday, March 2). Joe Cain is credited as being the revitalizer of Mardi Gras in Mobile after the Civil War. Mobilians have since named the Sunday before "Fat Tuesday," Joe Cain Day, in honor of the man who brought Mardi Gras back to Mobile. Joe Cain Day was an experience for me last year, and honestly, I can't wait for this year! Because Joe Cain is specific to Mobile, the city takes special pride in this day. From live music, to incredible parades, and restaurants serving some of the best food on the coast, Joe Cain Day is a one of the best parts of Mardi Gras in Mobile! 

Over a million people enjoy the festivities of Mardi Gras in Mobile every single year, and the numbers keep growing! The beads last year totaled over 7 million pounds! So grab a moon pie and get ready for another crazy Mardi Gras in Mobile! 

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