Mardi Gras in Coastal Alabama is so much more than a series of parades and balls. It is a source of the originality and spirit of the people of our region.
Mobile holds claim to the birthplace of Mardi Gras with a celebration that dates back to 1703. Today Mardi Gras, also known as Carnival Season, is packed with a full season of family-friendly activities infused with mystery, color, energy, passion and tradition.
Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a time to party with food, drink and some reckless abandon before the contrition of Lent, a religious observance that begins the following day on Ash Wednesday. In Mobile and other coastal areas, Mardi Gras has also evolved into the “coming of age” time for debutantes and is considered the most active social season in the region. Several of the events are invitation only and include elaborate masked balls and age-old mystical rituals. However, there are numerous public events and ways to join the fun and pageantry.
Parades and balls begin in early January and continue through February 13. Night parades are especially popular with the lights, costumes and floats attracting thousands of spectators. Be prepared to jump high to catch the most beads, trinkets and MoonPies!
In addition to the parades and balls in Mobile, our coastal communities each have their unique spin on Mardi Gras. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach activities include an annual boat parade on the Intracoastal Waterway. There are the Knights of Ecor Rouge in Fairhope, the Krewe de la Dauphine on Dauphin Island, Apollo’s Mystic Ladies in Daphne, annual parades in Foley and Bay Minette, and more!
For a complete schedule and details on parade routes, visit The Mobile Mask.