News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Mardi Gras parades in Mobile

By Patrice Stewart · 340-2446

It’s Mardi Gras season in Mobile and New Orleans, with floats, beads, MoonPies and fun scheduled through Feb. 20, or Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Lent begins.

Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration seems to be gaining in popularity. More than 1 million attended parades in Mobile in 2006 as New Orleans struggled following Hurricane Katrina.

The carnival was born in Mobile, according to some historians, who believe the first celebration was held in Mobile in 1703.

When a rowdy group hit the streets with cowbells and rakes taken from a hardware store in 1830, calling themselves the Cowbellion de Rakin Society, the idea really began to catch on.

The New Orleans celebration will get an Alabama flavor this year, with American Idol winner Taylor Hicks of Birmingham reigning as grand marshal for the Krewe of Endymion parade on Feb. 17. For New Orleans parade information, check Web sites such as www.mardigrasnew
orleans, www.mardigras
parades or www.neworleans

In Mobile, themed floats will roll through downtown streets with members of
Mardi Gras organizations, or krewes, in masks and costumes, tossing candy, moon pies, beads and other trinkets to parade-goers.

Here are the major Mobile parades:

Feb. 8 — Order of the Polka Dots, 6:45 p.m.

Feb. 9 — Order of the Inca, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 10 — Mobile Mystics, 2 p.m.; Krewe of Marry Mates, 2:30 p.m.; Maids of Mirth, 6:30 p.m.; Mobile Married Mystics, 7 p.m.; Order of Butterfly Maidens, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 11 — Neptune’s Daughters, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 12 — Mobile Mystical Ladies, 6:30 p.m.; Order of Venus, 6:45 p.m.

Feb. 13 — Order of LaShe’s, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 Mystic Striper, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 16 Crewe of Columbus, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 17 — Floral Parade, noon; Knights of Mobile, 12:30 p.m.; Order of Angels, 1 p.m.; Mystics of Time, 6 p.m.; Coronation of Queen to King Felix III, Mobile Convention Center, 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 18 — Joe Cain Parade, 2:30 p.m.; Le Krewe de Bienville Parade, 5 p.m.; Les Femmes Cassettes Parade, 5:30 p.m.; coronation of King Elexis at Mobile Civic Center, 8:15 p.m.

Feb. 19 — MLK Business and Civic Organization Parade, 3 p.m.; MLK Monday Mystics Parade, 3:30 p.m.; Northside Merchants Parade, 4 p.m.; Infant Mystics Parade, 6:30 p.m.

Fat Tuesday, Feb. 20, Mardi Gras Day — Order of Athena Parade, 10:30 a.m.; Knights of Revelry Parade, 12:30 p.m.; King Felix Parade, 1 p.m.; Comic Cowboys Parade, 1:30 p.m.; Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association, 2 p.m.; Order of Myths Parade, 6:30 p.m.

For information, call (800) 5-MOBILE or check


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