"Mardi Gras" -- the very name conjures up pictures of New Orleans, the French Quarter and Bourbon Street. But, as Eric from Alea informs us, "there is another city that celebrates Mardi Gras that is just as much fun." Who knew that the very first Mardi Gras in the United States was in.... Mobile, Alabama?
As the City of Mobile will tell you, not only is it recognized as celebrating the first-known American Mardi Gras celebration in 1703, but it’s also home to the "America's Family Mardi Gras." Their hometown celebration extends for over two and a half weeks, and is more family friendly than its Big Easy counterpart. "This is the southern Mardi Gras where families still come out and picnic waiting on parades."
"One of the best parts of the Mardi Gras experience is a night parade such as the Infant Mystics Parade on the Lunes Monday," explains Eric. These tossed trinkets, coins, beads and even stuffed animals are much sought-after prizes.
"Catching throws are a big part of the Madness that occurs along the barricades of a Mardi Parade. That madness effects all ages and everyone young and old is likely to forget about everything as they try to grab things flying through the air. Much like a sport, the art of catching Mardi Gras throws is a time honored tradition in the deep South. However -- it is also like a contact sport at times -- and I have seen a certain kid sister of mine land on top of people leaping for trinkets – and 70 year old ladies landing on top of her doing the same. It’s a bit of madness that overcomes you and will give you stories for a lifetime."
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Posted by Nik’sMom (Terre Grilli)
Comment by Eric from Aiea on March 3, 2011
Hope that all enjoy the tips that I have given and that all someday get a chance to visit Mobile during Mardi Gras.
If you ever wondered what becomes of all the beads and trinkets my friends and I catch - I mail them on Ash Wednesday to my Nephew and Niece for their grade school's next year Mardi Gras party. And a 3 to 4 lb box of moonpies gets sent to a friend in Singapore who thinks they are the greatest food ever invented.......
Comment by Eric from Aiea on March 11, 2011
Turns out that the Monday night parade in Mobile ended up being not one - but two of the big Mystic orders - Infante Mystics and the Mystics of Time. For those who had a chance to be there - the parades were done back to back and made for about 2 and half hours in going and coming and what a fun time it was! MOT had some fantastic floats - with the dragons being some of the coolest looking floats of the Mardi Gras season!