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Mardi Gras 101

1. Modern day Mobile, Alabama was the site of the first “official” Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.

2. In early King Cakes there was no "baby" in the cake. A bean was used instead. The male villager who found the bean was crowned "king" and presided over a festival celebrating the end of winter.

3. A “krewe” is a Mardi Gras parading and social organization that hosts balls and/or parades during Carnival (Mardi Gras), and often focuses on charitable events throughout the rest of the year.




Mardi Gras 2019 is Tuesday, March 5th

Welcome to Mardi Gras

Krewe of Blazzues iMrdi Gras Parade Float in Pensacola, Florida
Mardi Gras Float - Pensacola, Florida (2011)

Mardi Gras, known by many as “that bacchanal in New Orleans”, is, in reality, far more than just an excuse to have a good time. For communities that host Mardi Gras, the pre-Lenten Carnival season is a time to share and celebrate the blessings of community and family.

Witness the massive costume gala in Lake Charles, Louisiana that draws thousands from every corner of the community, cheering on friends, co-workers, and others as they honor a yearlong creative endeavor. And one need look no further than New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indians to see the pride and poignancy in Mardi Gras. These tribal groups mask, chant, and compete to be the “prettiest” even as they struggle to keep their tradition alive. Few realize that their tradition dates back well over a hundred years as they attempt to honor the Native Americans who helped their ancestors break the bonds and dependencies of slavery.

But the magic of Mardi Gras doesn’t stop on Ash Wednesday (the day after Fat Tuesday - Mardi Gras Day). The eight communities profiled here on All About Mardi Gras are all rich in history and tradition, and carry that close community spirit, hospitality, cuisine, music, and festive atmosphere with them all year round. This means that travelers can enjoy many of the cultural, historical, and fun aspects of Mardi Gras without the crowds and mayhem.

True, it’s not exactly Mardi Gras, but you can see the costumes at the Imperial Calcasieu Mardi Gras Museum in Lake Charles, and witness the artifacts, costumes, myths and legends of the Mardi Gras Indians at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in New Orleans.

As you visit the pages and articles on All About Mardi Gras, I hope you’ll embrace the breadth and depth of the Mardi Gras experience, and consider visiting one of these eight cities for Mardi Gras, or at the time of year that best suits you.

Featured Stories:

HIstory of the French Quarter - History, Art & Architecture of the French Quarter

Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp - A Brief History of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter

Mardi Gras in Soulard - A Brief History of the Soulard Neighborhood in St. Louis

Family-Friendly New Orleans - NOLA Mardi Gras attractions, tips and tricks for all ages

NOLA Walking Neighborhoods - How to avoid traffic during Mardi Gras in New Orleans

The Krewe Of Rex - The King Of Carnival The Rex Organization, and Pro Bono Publico

Street Performers - Etiquette and standards for watching musicians and performance artists

Simply Heaven - Muriel's Jackson Square: Gulf Coast Cuisine With Supernatural Sides

Pat O'Brien's - The Home of "The Hurricane" is a Family Tradition That's Here to Stay

Local Hero - Breakfast At Slim Goodies Diner Feeds New Orleans In More Ways Than One

Galveston's Dining Delights - Dining Culture & Local Favorites in Gulf Coast Texas

Galveston History - The People and Events That Made Galveston Famous

Mardi Gras Galveston - Enjoy the Parties and Parades During Carnival in Galveston

Bellingrath Home and Gardens - Mardi Gras at the historic Battle House Hotel

Mobile's Living Room - Mardi Gras at the historic Battle House Hotel

Civil War Pensacola - Beach bluff battlements and the Civil War's real first battle

Travel Along the Boudin Trail- A Guide to Southwest Louisiana's signature sausage

Royal Gala - Mardi Gras at the historic Battle House Hotel

Mardi Gras Museum- World's Largest Collection of Mardi Gras Costumes

Crystal Cajun Cook-Off - St. Louis' Cajun & Creole Antidote to Old Man Winter

Soulard Pet Parade & Wiener Dog Derby- St. Louis' Four-Legged Mardi Gras Fun

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