17 Jan 06 - 27 Jun 13
2007 Parades & Events
Order of Joy
Contact & Admissions
Mardi Gras FAQ's
1703- Mardi Gras observed for the first time in the New World by French pioneers at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement of Mobile.
1711- Carnival is born in present site as residents join in song, food and dance. Papiér-maché bull, in honor of Boeuf Gras (another name for Mardi Gras), is pulled down Dauphin Street in what is believed to have been the first carnival “parade” in North America .
1830- Michael Kraft wakes up the mayor on New Year’s Ever with rakes and hoes and cowbells, forming the Cowbellian de Rakin Society: the first masked parading society in America.
1840- Cowbellians introduce horse-drawn floats in a parade entitled, “Heathen Gods and Goddesses.”
1843- Striker’s Independent Society formed. Paraded for over fifty years. The oldest remaining mystic society in America.
1862/1865- Carnival is cancelled during the War of Northern Agression.
1866- Joe Cain revives Mardi Gras after the War by costuming as undefeated Chief of the Chickasaw Indians, “Old Slacabamorinico”, and leading the Lost Cause Minstrels in a procession through the City in defiance of occupying Union troops.
1867- Oldest continuous parading society founded: Order of Myths.
1868- First Order of Myths Parade on Mardi Gras night.
1868- Infant Mystics become second society to parade on Mardi Gras night and later moved to Lundi Gras (Fat Monday).
1872- First Royal Court is reigned over by Daniel E. Huger, first king of Carnival, styled as Emperor Felix I. The Mobile Carnival Association is organized.
1874- Knights of Revelry established, parading on Mardi Gras Day.
1875- Alabama legislature declares Shrove Tuesday a holiday in Mobile. The public is encouraged to close down business and to mask.
1884- Comic Cowboys of Wragg Swamp are established, along with their mission of satire and free expression.
1889- First Empress of Mardi Gras reigns as queen is chosen as consort for Felix.
1890- First Jewish mystic society, The Continental Mystic Crew, is founded.
1893- Mobile Carnival Association reorganized.
1894- Order of Doves, believed to be the first Black mystic society in Mobile, is formed.
1898- Mobile Carnival Association is charged with entertaining the public and protecting the populace.
1902- Masks are prohibited from public use.
1917-1918 Carnival cancelled because of World War I.
1920- Juvenile court is formed for children approximately five years in age.
1924- Permits become required in order to parade on city streets.
1927- Mobile Carnival Association reorganized.
1928- Floral Parade debut.
1929- First electric floats roll into Mobile via the Infant Mystics’ Parade.
1935- 100th Anniversary of the arrival of Carnival parades.
1938- First Black Mardi Gras parade. The first king hailed “Mayor of Carnival.”
1940- First “Colored Carnival Association” became Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association (MAMGA). Mr. Samuel Besteda was named “First Mayor of Colored Mobile.”
1942-1945 World War II cancels celebration of Carnival.
1946- Carnival resumes full-scale in Mobile.
1952- Camellia Ball debuts and Zulu Club parades for last time.
1956- MAMGA names Hank Aaron as its mayor for the celebration.
1965- First doubloon thrown in Mobile by the IM’s, two years before their 100th anniversary.
1966- 100th anniversary of Joe Cain’s celebration.
1967- Joe Cain celebration revived at Church Street Cemetery, a location quickly outgrown.
1969- MAMGA dedicates its first float warehouse. Develops revolutionary system of pulling floats in and out of warehouse.
1974- Alexis Herman, Secretary of Labor under the last administration of Bill Clinton, named Queen of MAMGA.
1980- Order of Osiris, the first gay Society in Mobile, holds its first dance.
1990- MAMGA celebrates its 50th anniversary.
1995- First International Carnival Ball held in Mobile with every known mystic society represented.
2001- First ball of the Order of Out of Towners.
2002- Mobile Tri-centennial celebrated with huge parade representing every known mystic society.
2004- 100th coronation of a carnival queen in Mobile.
2005- New Carnival experience opens: the Mobile Carnival Museum opens with Gordon Tatum, Jr. named first curator.