The Mardi Gras season is hitting both its high note and end note along the Gulf Coast. Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras, yet the biggest celebrations are held in New Orleans. Perhaps the city lends itself to more of a party atmosphere than Mobile, but Mobile does its share of celebrating. You can check out the schedule at this link: http://www.marriott.com/hotelwebsites/us/m/mobbr/mobbr_pdf/MG_routesched2011.pdf
You can find New Orleans’ parades here: http://www.mardigrasparadeschedule.com/
Mardi Gras is celebrated all along the Gulf Coast. The farthest east I could find a current schedule of events is Destin, FL although I read a history of Mardi Gras in Apalachicola. They stopped their festivities in the early 1900’s. The farthest west the Mardi Gras is celebrated is Galveston, TX. We went to a parade there in 2007. It wasn’t planned. My husband was working in Houston then and we spent some time day-tripping. Galveston was a cool town. We haven’t returned since Hurricane Ike. I’d like to see it again.
The schools and businesses along the Gulf Coast close for the long week (Friday through Tuesday, usually) returning on Wednesday. It’s hard to get to work or school if you’re on a parade line so basically whole municipalities and local businesses shut down.
Since we homeschool, it doesn’t affect us. My husband works at home that day, the boys keep on learning and I do what I do. Most families that get this holiday take this opportunity to take a short trip out-of-town away from the crowds, but we’re staying here this year. Our big vacation is in the summer.
Parades can be fun but if you do them too often they’re no longer that exciting. The Gulf Coast does host a parade for just about everything: schools, most holidays, the entire Mardi Gras season just to name a few. My 4H club participates in a Christmas parade. Every small town has one so if you’re really addicted to beads, candy and other throwables you can hit several in one weekend; like Mardi Gras.
How many beads can a person own? Don’t know but I’d like to meet the person that claims to have the largest collection of Mardi Gras beads caught at parades throughout his or her lifetime. We went to a few parades, years ago when we first moved to the Gulf Coast, so I have my beads saved. They fill a shoe box. They’ve moved from Alabama, through 5 other states and back. I don’t know why.
Enjoy the Mardi Gras season, if you desire. If not, take this time and enjoy what you enjoy.