I’ve celebrated Mardi Gras in other cities along the Gulf Coast, but this year I celebrated where it all began, Mobile Alabama. Each city has their own special Mardi Gras traditions and as we entered the city the downtown skyline was all lit up in green, purple and gold to show – it’s Mardi Gras time!
I attended Mardi Gras with a friend that belonged to the krewe group known as The Knights of Revelry! We stayed downtown on the parade route. The hotel was completely Southern, with a central courtyard with a fountain that all the rooms opened onto. Here is the hotel fountain on Fat Tuesday morning starting to collect some lovely decorations but just wait…
There was a live jazz band playing and the fabulous music added to the festivities! Note the strings of beads that stretch across the courtyard from one balcony to the other. It was so pretty! We hung out on the balcony until it was time to go and watch the parades!
In between parades, people wandered in, out and through the courtyard of the hotel and continued to add beads to the fountain.
Here are some of the parade floats – this year’s theme was “Mouth of the South”. They depicted a Southern sayings such as: Don’t Lay With the Chickens, Snowball’s Chance in Hell, Don’t Bark Up The Wrong Tree and When Pigs Fly! Parades are loads of fun – just wish the weather had been a little better!
So as the afternoon progresses the fountain continues to accumulate more beads.
The Knights of Revelry Krewe select a man that is known as the “Folly”. It’s a big secret as to who he is each year since he wears a full face mask. He rides the very first float in the parade and it’s his job is to get the crowd all revved up! His float is the same each year with an enormous sparkly silver wine glass – how fun, right? He stands inside the glass and beats balloon shaped silver balls on the end of a stick against the wine glass! It makes a REALLY loud noise that is supposed to chase away evil! So these balls look like balloons – but balloons would pop if you beat on them like that – so what are they exactly? Cow bladders! Yes, you read that right (and are saying EWWWW! about right now) but they really are cow bladders. They remove them from the animal, blow them up and paint them. How they’re made was featured on the show “Dirty Jobs” with Mike Rowe. He came to Mobile specifically to find out about them. Isn’t that an interesting tidbit of knowledge?
Photo courtesy of The Mobile Mask
Moving on … after the parade, we attended The Knights of Revelry reception for the members of the Knights, their families and friends. The attire was definitely Southern style! Men wear suits and ties, ladies wear dresses and wide brimmed hats, a la Kentucky Derby. Here I am in my hat and pearls! We drank, danced and had a good time! We especially loved the presentation of the the Knights, the Folly, the court and the King and Queen.
The final gorgeously adorned fountain on Mardi Gras night!
I had so much FUN!!!! I can’t wait to see how I celebrate next year! XOXO, Kara