Reasons to Love Mardi Gras Season

As a Mobile native, I feel that it's very important you know that the origin of Mardi Gras was in Mobile, Alabama in 1703... 15 years before the festival started in New Orleans, Louisiana. However, both Mobile and New Orleans are great places to celebrate Mardi Gras and attend a parade. If you want to drive down to Mobile or New Orleans to experience a Mardi Gras parade one weekend, parades in Mobile started on January 26th and end February 13th and parades in New Orleans started January 27th and end February 13th as well. The drive from Birmingham to Mobile is about 4 hours and the drive from Birmingham to New Orleans is around 5 hours. Take a weekend and go down to one of these two cities before Mardi Gras festivities end. Here are some of my favorite things about Mardi Gras season and attending parades. 


1. Moon pies 

While everyone has differing opinions on moon pies, I personally love them! My favorite flavor moon pie is definitely banana, but there are other flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, salted caramel, etc. You can buy these in stores or online, however it's more fun to catch one at a Mardi Gras parade.  


2. King Cake 

A good King Cake is the perfect way to celebrate the Mardi Gras season. There are many different fillings that come in King Cakes, but if you've never had a piece of King Cake it's basically just cinnamon sugary goodness in your mouth. 


3. Floats 

Most parades, especially in Mobile, have a theme to them. Each float is catered to the theme and they are all designed differently. Each float is so creative and beautiful so you definitely need to attend a parade to see for yourself. 


4. Beads 

Speaking from experience, you will get hit in the face with beads at least once in your life when you attend a parade. However, trying to catch the beads and wearing and collecting multiple beads is always a lot of fun.  


5. The Bands 

There are many high school bands and dance teams that are a part of the parades that help make parades so much fun. The music they play makes you want to dance along and overall makes the parade that much more enjoyable. 


6. The Atmosphere 

I can't speak for New Orleans, but in Mobile the atmosphere at Mardi Gras parades is family-friendly, for the most part. The music, the beads, the stuffed animals, the moon pies, and friends and family surrounding you all leads to a great parade experience.  


You should definitely attend a Mardi Gras parade at some point in your life to get the full Mardi Gras experience!