Did you know Mobile created Mardi Gras, NOT New Orleans!
Below is a brief timeline of the beginning of Mardi Gras according to the Mobile Carnival Museum. Which by the way is a really fun and interesting museum to visit whether you are a tourist or a Mobilian. This upcoming year, 2024, our parades start Saturday, January 13th on Dauphin Island and in Mobile it begins January 26th and will end Fat Tuesday, February 13th. Making this a very early Mardi Gras Season as Mardi Gras day is 40 days prior to Easter.
1703– Mardi Gras observed for the first time in the New World by French pioneers at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement of Mobile.
1711– Carnival is born in present site as residents join in song, food and dance. Papiér-maché bull, in honor of Boeuf Gras (another name for Mardi Gras), is pulled down Dauphin Street in what is believed to have been the first carnival “parade” in North America .
1830– Michael Kraft wakes up the mayor on New Year’s Eve with rakes and hoes and cowbells, forming the Cowbellian de Rakin Society: the first masked parading society in America.