Mardi Gras in Alabama

You’ll find that in the Gulf Shores of Alabama we cherish a good old-fashioned, down-home reason to have a good time. That’s why Mardi Gras is anticipated all year long here in Mobile Alabama. It’s the perfect blend of traditional Southern hospitality and fun visiting friends.

Mardi Gras Festival around Gulf Shores

If you happen to be in Mobile Alabama between February 15 and March 5, you’ll quickly discover that this lively Gulf Coast city is where Mardi Gras began when it was a colony of French soldiers in 1703. After having survived a nasty fight with yellow fever, they decided to celebrate. However, party favors weren’t accessible in the New World, so the men decided to paint their faces red and act crazy for a few hours. It must have been good because they made it an annual event. We usually associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans and the French Quarter, but the oldest carnival celebration as we know it— parades, masked balls, kings and queens, and mystic societies— happened in Mobile Alabama. Like Louisiana, the Gulf Coast of Alabama was heavily influenced by French culture thanks to early explorers. All along the coast, you’ll see streets and towns named after French people, who were sent to America to guard French territory against intrusion from the British and Spanish. In 1840, Carnival was transformed into a parade event by the Cowbellion de Rakin Society —the first of many mystic organizations who traveled to New Orleans in 1857 to help set up a Mardi Gras celebrations.

Joe Cain Day in Mobile Alabama 

Joe Cain Day is the Sunday before Fat Tuesday in Mobile Alabama. After the Civil War, Mobile local Joe Cain, dressed as a Native American and led a parade through town, which was still occupied by Union forces. He revived Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration and moved it from New Year’s Eve to Fat Tuesday, so it’s only right he gets his own day in the festivities. Beaded necklaces are the symbol of Mardi Gras, everyone wears them, and tries to get more from the parade floats who toss them out as they wind their way through the streets. Other than the beads, float passengers also throw candy, toys, souvenir cups, stuffed animals, and of course moon pies.

Gulf Shores and Mobile Alabama Celebrations

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach also celebrate Mardi Gras. Mobile Alabama can’t have all the fun! You can catch one of our yearly parades right on the beach. Locals, snowbird visitors, and children line the streets of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach trying to catch the many moon pies, unique and colorful beads, souvenir cups, candy, and more. If you’ve never experienced Mardi Gras, you should do it at least once in your life. Come ready to rumble for this traditional festival! Book the best lodging in Gulf Shores, Anchor Vacation Rentals to ring in Carnival in Mobile Alabama.