August 29, 2008, Newsletter Issue #169: The Queen of Mardi Gras

Tip of the Week

The Queen of Carnival is a long standing Mardi Gras tradition and makes for a great mardi gras costume - but while most people think the roots of this tradition are from New Orleans Mardi Gras, they might not be aware of the strong roots Mardi Gras has to Mobile, Alabama. Believe it or not, the first Mardi Gras actually started in Mobile in 1703 when it was a colony of French soldiers. After having survived a particularly nasty bout with yellow fever, they needed to celebrate and boy did they ever. With few party favors in the New World, the men opted to paint their faces red and just act crazy for a few hours (boys will be boys). Mardi Gras is still a tradition in Mobile. In fact, The Museum of Mobile is home to many Mardi Gras pieces including 18 magnificent outfits; gowns, trains, and jewels worn by queens of carnival over a period of 30 years. Also on display is the attire of a 1920īs flapper queen and costumes of several jesters of well-known parading societies.

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