will be available again "next year"

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Mardi Gras
, meaning Fat Tuesday in French is the slightly season when cares are abandoned and worry take a holiday! Pleasant madness takes over Mobile annually in the day’s preceding Ash Wednesday as chants of "Moon Pie!" and "Throw me something Mister" fill the air of the historic Port City and rules governing civilized behavior are temporarily suspended.

The foundation of Mardi Gras was started long before the French. Some historians see a relationship to the ancient fertility rituals performed to welcome the coming, a time of rebirth.  One possible early version of the Mardi Gras festival was the Lupercalia. This was the celebration around mid-February in Rome. The early Church leaders diverted the pagan practices toward a more Christian focus.  Although New Orleans may have the better-known celebration, but Mobile's was the first, and some will argue the best.

The cities first Mardi Gras celebration dates back to 1703 by some accounts, one year after Mobile was founding. The Mardi Gras best know by Mobilians began with a young man known as Michael Kraft. On New year's Eve of 1830, Kraft and company were reluctant to end a dinner party too soon. They raided a nearby hardware store after midnight, took up rakes, hoes and cowbells, and proceeded to wake the town. Kraft and friends formed the Cowbellion de Rakin Society, the first of Mobile's modern mystic organization, which presented the first parade complete with theme, and floats in 1840.

The outbreak of the War Between the States in1861 brought the

revelryof Mobile's Mardi Gras to an abrupt end-and but for one man, it

might have disappeared forever. The man was Joseph Stillwell Cain, an

inveterate lover of strong drink and good times. On fat Tuesday the day

before AshWednesday, in 1866, Cain set out to cheer up the spirits of a

city madebleak and humorless by defeat. Dressed in Chickasaw Indian

attire, Cainclimbed aboard a decorated coal wagon pulled by a mule, and

held a one-float parade through the streets, calling himself Chief

Slackabamirimico.Cain inspired the founding of a host of mystic

societies, and he himself wasa founder of the Order of Myths, an

organization that still parades in Mobile today.