Catch Beads and a Sports Event on the Alabama Gulf Coast

Did you know Mardi Gras has its origin right here on the Alabama Gulf Coast?

The birthplace of Carnival in the United States is in Mobile, Alabama, just a short drive from the white-sand beaches. Because of the proximity to the city’s exuberant festivities, the rich traditions have become part of multiple cities along the coastline in Alabama.

Mardi Gras Parades in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, AL

While you’re in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for a sporting event during the month of February, check out the beach-style Mardi Gras season during your downtime. You’re sure to see screaming crowds, showers of beads and moon pies, along with bright costumes and floats accompanied by marching bands at the colorful parades. Carnival on the coast is family friendly, so there is something for all ages to enjoy. There’s even a Mardi Gras boat parade!

More than just a day, Mardi Gras is an annual season of revelry before the Christian season of Lent. This year’s local celebration kicks off at the beginning of February and culminates on the actual day of Mardi Gras (which is French for Fat Tuesday), February 28.

The Conde Cavaliers will kick off the Mobile Mardi Gras season with their parade starting at 6:30 p.m. on February 10. The remainder of the month will be filled with parades across the Gulf Coast. If you don’t want to take the trip to Mobile, you’ll find plenty of excitement in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, and in the nearby towns of Foley, Fairhope and Daphne. Check out the calendar of events on the tourism website.

The Gulf Shores Mardi Gras Parade starts at 10 a.m. on February 28. It begins at Hwy. 59 at Clubhouse Drive and ends at the public beach in Gulf Shores. Also on February 28, the Orange Beach Mardi Gras Parade is at 2 p.m. The starting point is at Wintzell’s Oyster House and it will finish at Hwy. 161. Both parades are a great time to be part of a crowd and catch beads, moon pies and other trinkets as they sail through the air.

Parada on the water

Want to check out a unique parade on the water? Head on over to Bronze sponsor LuLu’s on February 28 to watch LuLu’s Fat Tuesday Anniversary Celebration & Boat Parade at 10:30 a.m. on the Intracoastal Canal in Gulf Shores.

The most important thing to remember is to relish in the fun this Mardi Gras season and keep this phrase in mind: Laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good time roll)!

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