This list couldn’t begin with anywhere other than Mobile. New Orleans can claim the crowds, but Mobile claims the history. Ever since the very first Mardi Gras parade in 1701, this southern city has kept the party rolling – hosting nearly four dozen parades in less than two weeks.
Carnival-goers looking for a more family-friendly environment will feel comfortable with the parades on Alabama’s southern coast. Boat lovers will enjoy the boat parade that takes place outside of Jimmy Buffett’s sister’s restaurant, LuLu’s.
While virtually every city in Louisiana has a Mardi Gras celebration, Lake Charles has a different approach to carnival season than just parades and throws. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum, the largest Mardi Gras museum in the world, details the history of the celebrations – including the best King Cake recipes and over 1,000 costumes on display.
The largest Mardi Gras in Texas (and third largest in the country!) will celebrate its 105th running this year. More than 2,000 umbrella-carrying revelers will parade down the streets in the “Annual Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade” while others will run the “Jolly Jester Jaunt 5K Costumed Run for Fun.”
The Mississippi Gulf Coast has celebrated Mardi Gras since 1908, and according to their official website, the party is only “getting bigger & bigger every year!” Held along the beach, festival-goers will be treated to bicycle parades, motorcycle parades, jambalaya cook-offs and plenty of treats thrown their way.