I realize that most in the USA think of New Orleans when you say Mardi Gras. However Mobile, Alabama was where the first Mardi Gras parade was held almost twenty years before the tradition migrated to New Orleans in 1856. The first parade started when a "tipsy" cotton broker, nice word for he was drunk as a skunk, danced down the street rattling a rake adorned with cowbells. Little boys ran after him and soon he had a crowd. The practice continued, and became formal organizations to parade with costumes and floats, around 1838.
In 1912 the first Black Mardi Krewe was established in New Orleans, The Zulu Social and Pleasure Club.
But let me make this clear, Mardi Gras in Louisiana is much bigger than New Orleans! There are huge celebrations in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport, and a whole host of smaller towns. People are always surprised when I tell them about the about the large crowds in cities other than New Orleans.
Just look at one such parade in Lafayette, cher.
Just look at what we call "boo-coo" people
If you want to let folks see you know what you're talking about when it comes to Louisiana, tell them about the celebrations all over the state. Tourists think big parades only roll in New Orleans. Savvy, sophisticated travelers know better.
Only in Louisiana does a Christmas tree transform into this after New Year's Day! Baton Rouge, baby. My home town. Heck yeah, we got decorations up. Now dats what I'm talkin' 'bout!