Guide to celebrations, discounted hotel rates in Mobile, Alabama during the Mardi Gras season

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When I hear Mardi Gras, I immediately think of New Orleans. But I recently learned that Mardi Gras originated in the United States in Mobile, Alabama, in 1703. The celebrations died out but were revived in 1866 by Joe Cain leading an impromptu parade. The Sunday before Fat Tuesday is Joe Cain Day and everybody and their brother goes downtown to celebrate. There is a Joe Cain Parade and six other parades that day.

In Mobile, Mardi celebrations begin two and a half weeks before Fat Tuesday. During this time, over 40 parades will roll through the streets of downtown Mobile. You’ll see marching bands, elaborate floats, mounted police, costumed marchers and much more.

Beads, trinkets and moon pies fly through the air. Moon pies are the most coveted catch. Banana, chocolate, peanut butter,mint, double decker or minis – Mobilians love them all.

During Mardi Gras, you can never wear too many beads around your neck. This should be considered a challenge.

When in Mobile, a visit to the Mobile Carnival Museum is a must do. It is housed in a 14 room restored mansion that is registered as a historic building. It highlights the history of Mardi Gras.

See the intricate designs of the crowns, scepters and robes of Mardi Gras kings and queens. See the pomp and pageantry of past coronations. View videos of parades and balls. One gallery has an actual float and you can become a costumed rider in the Little Mystics Den.On Fat Tuesday, February 13, 2024, the parades will begin at 10:30 pm with the Order of Athena, the only women’s group parade of the day.  The parades end with the oldest continuing Mardi Gras parade group, the Order of Myths, whose parades date back to 1868.

If you’d like to visit Mobile to enjoy the Mardi Gras celebrations, you should consider the following hotels. They’re located near the festivities and, if you click on our links, you can save money on your stay.

Hotel Deals

Looking to stay in Mobile, Alabama for the celebration?  Consider staying at one of these hotels: