Mobile first to Mardi Gras

Published 12:09 pm Wednesday, March 1, 2006

By Staff
Since I'm from Mobile I have to write about something that I, along with thousands of other Mobilians, have been celebrating – Mardi Gras. A true Mobilian will not hesitate to tell you that our city was the first to celebrate Mardi Gras. It's a fact - history tells the story.
New Orleans is often the most associated with Mardi Gras and many people will try to debate the fact that Mobile is just a copy cat city. However, when we remind those people that our Mardi Gras organizations date back further than those in New Orleans, they maybe believe us for a second.
We don't mind. We Mobilians know the truth. We realize it's something we will always have to live with. But when I read for the second time that Mobile was slighted on MSN's Web site for 12 best places to celebrate Mardi Gras, I got a little outraged - as did many Mobilians.
How in the world do Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Raleigh-Durham, San Francisco and Seattle surpass Mobile?
I had to cut my celebration short Sunday night. Typically, I'm right there with the crowd at Bienville Square on Fat Tuesday, throwing my hands up in the air to catch a cup or fistful of beads with the rest of the crowd – but Brewton called me back.
I attended two Mardi Gras balls this year and at both of the events I overheard many people sitting at their tables before call outs discussing their disgust with the popular site, and some were angry at the Chamber of Commerce for not doing its job to properly market the celebration.
They are right. Somebody's not doing their job. That Web site is read by millions of people, and by not including Mobile, millions of dollars in tourist revenue is being lost. There is absolutely no excuse to exclude the first city to celebrate Mardi Gras. This was Mobile's chance to take over at a time when New Orleans was down.
But I digress. The celebration is over and done with. The damage has been done.
All I can do is my part and that is to let people know that Mobile has it all. If you're looking to bring the kids for a fun-filled afternoon or four, Mobile's the place to go. If you don't have kids and want to safely celebrate and dress to the nines at a low cost, go to Mobile. There's no place I would rather go.
Mary-Allison Lancaster is the Managing editor of the Brewton Standard. She can be reached via e-mail at