Mobile, AL (WKRG)
We’re getting closer to carnival season. A new project from the Historic Mobile preservation society is trying to educate people on mobile’s Mardi Gras history through a walking tour. Ann Pond guides people through the newly created Mobile Mardi Gras trail tour. It focuses on the first century of carnival traditions. That covers roughly 1840 to 1940.
“So Mobile was very proud of its orderliness, it wasn’t even from the very beginning they wanted to be different from a New Orleans celebration they wanted to give an artistic presentation,” said Pond during the tour. While New Orleans has been better known for its Mardi Gras, the Port City has always laid claim as the birthplace of Mardi Gras. It’s a claim that’s disputed but Pond argues that depends on how one defines Mardi Gras. Mobile was the first to blend secret societies and celebrations.
“Secretive mystic parades followed by a ball and a tableau that all began on new year’s eve, through the civil war, we want to emphasize that fact because mobile didn’t begin celebrating Mardi Gras the day until after the Civil War,” said Pond.
“What Mobilians are proud of is the secret, it’s not a secret we want to share with anybody else but it’s a secret we don’t even know,” said Pond paraphrasing an old newspaper editorial about Mardi Gras. The tour hits seven spots around downtown mobile to show how cultures and traditions blended to make the celebrations we know today. The roll-out of the tours has been gradual. You can see the Mobile Mardi Gras Trail website here. It is a project of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society.