Let the good times roll! We’re gearing up for Mardi Gras here along the Gulf Coast, so grab an RC Cola and a Moonpie and have some fun. From the colorful parades to the pageantry of the balls, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Who needs New Orleans?
The Mobile, Alabama, Mardi Gras celebration is the oldest in the United States. Louis Langlois organized the first one in 1703, fifteen years before the tradition began in New Orleans. It spans several weeks and culminates on Mardi Gras Day, Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. For those who aren’t Catholic, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a season of fasting and repentance leading up to Easter. So really, Mardi Gras is the feast before the fast. And what a feast it is.
Over the years, Mardi Gras celebrations spread from Mobile into surrounding cities and counties. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, only about an hour from Mobile, are long-standing participants in the revelry. If you haven’t been to a parade, do yourself a favor and plan to go. The floats are beautiful, the costumes are crazy, and you’re sure to go home with a bag full of beads, doubloons, and moon pies. Of course, if you know the magic words and scream them at the top of your lungs – THROW ME SOMETHING, MISTER!