Mardi Gras didn't start in the Big Easy, but in ... Alabama?2/9/2013
Mardi Gras is as synonymous with New Orleans as jazz and Cajun cooking, but as it turns out, the Big Easy wasn't the first home of the nation's biggest pre-Lent party. According to historians, the original home of Mardi Gras was actually Mobile, Ala. The celebration started in 1830 when Mobile resident Michael Krafft hosted the first Mardi Gras parade on another celebratory night: New Year's Eve. Krafft's crew went by the awesome name of the Cowbellion de Rakin society (because of the rakes and cowbells used in their celebration, not because they led an actual bovine revolution). Society members brought the festival to New Orleans in 1852, where it has now become the festival of beer and debauchery we all know and love. [Source]
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