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Mobile, Alabama

When: Feb. 7-25, 2020

Sorry, New Orleans. This port city along Alabama's Gulf Coast is said to be the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States. The story goes that the first Mardi Gras celebration happened in 1703, but then a man named Joe Cain got it going on again after the Civil War by putting on a spur-of-the-moment street parade. Since then, Mobile's Mardi Gras has grown to encompass a festive scene that's also family-friendly. Beginning two and a half weeks before Fat Tuesday, the busy schedule includes a ton of grand parades led by various organizations. And of course, Joe Cain gets his due; Sunday is known as Joe Cain Day, and he gets his own procession!

Where in the World to Partake in Mardi Gras Festivities Other Than NOLA

While New Orleans rightfully gets attention for its Mardi Gras festivities, other locations within the United States and around the world also know how to go all-out to celebrate before Lent begins. Across the globe, Mardi Gras celebrations take on different names (think Carnaval or Carneval) and meanings, and even carry on longtime traditions or adopt new ones. From the Americas to Europe and through the Caribbean, go on a global journey to discover how destinations spend their days ahead of Ash Wednesday in truly colorful splendor.

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