An expert shares tips on how to celebrate Mardi Gras



Our Expert Cart Blackwell is curator at the Mobile Carnival Museum, the oldest such museum in the United States.


Most people associate Mardi Gras with New Orleans, but Mobile is home to the country’s oldest Carnival, first celebrated in 1703. Tell us about that history.
Our first Carnival dates back to our early French period, when a group of sailors and settlers celebrated at the original Fort of Mobile on Ash Wednesday. The Americans took it to another level: In the 1830s, a group of Mobile men staged a parade and threw an invitation-only ball. And those two ingredients now define the American Carnival, whether it’s celebrated in Mobile, New Orleans, or Biloxi.