With forty different parades and nine different routes available to each parade, planning your Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile can quickly become overwhelming. Not sure where to start? Keep reading!
Preparing for your parade
Want to be sure you’ll get the best experience at your parade? Make sure you don your brightest green, purple and yellow clothes, craft a sign to get the float riders’ attention (light up signs are the biggest hit) and bring a big bag to help you store your spoils. Once you do that, you’ll look like a pro.
It is recommended that you have a valid ID with you at all times, no matter your age.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the City of Mobile closes the roads for the parade routes two hours before a parade begins. Be sure to get there at least an hour before the parade begins so you have plenty of time to park and snag a spot right next to the barricade.
When you have forty parades to pick from, it can be ridiculously hard to decide which one you should attend. A great starting place can be to identify important dates.
Joe Cain Day
Joe Cain Day falls on Sunday, February 27th. If you’re looking for a true Mobilian Mardi Gras experience, this is a special day you don’t want to miss.
In 1868, inspired by New Orleans, Cain dressed as the imaginary Chief Slacabamorinco and paraded through the streets of Downtown Mobile on Fat Tuesday. The March struck Mobilians so deeply that Cain’s infamous actions not only brought the celebrations we love today back to life but also moved Mobile’s official Mardi Gras celebrations from New Years to Fat Tuesday.
Since Cain’s reburial at Church Street Graveyard, Joe Cain Day has been a classic Mobile Mardi Gras tradition.
Start off Joe Cain Day by meeting the grieving Merry Widows at Cain’s grave and rejoicing his life. If you stick close to them, you may even be led to a celebration at Cain’s original home. Of course, the biggest event of the day is the Joe Cain Procession: a march through the streets of Mobile in honor and remembrance of the father of Mobile’s modern Mardi Gras.
Everyone can march as a part of the procession, there is no fee or registration required. The coolest part? You get a commemorative button for participating!
Lundi Gras, the day before Fat Tuesday, is on February 28th this year. It’s the best time to celebrate with the whole family.
Traditionally, Lundi Gras features parades with floats from local schools and heavy participation from students. If you’re a local, consider carrying on the tradition of throwing a king cake party or spending quality time with the ones you love. After all, Lundi Gras is a family day.
This year Fat Tuesday falls on March 1st. Of Course, we have to ask: are you really celebrating Mardi Gras if you’re not doing it on Fat Tuesday?
Fat Tuesday Celebrations are a whole day affair with parades beginning as early as 10:30AM. Arguably the best day to catch a parade (meter parking is free this day), you can be sure that locals and visitors alike will pull out all the stops to make it an experience that you’ll never forget.
Route A is the main route for most of Mobile’s Mardi Gras parades.
The best spot to snag on this route is on Government Street between S. Franklin Street and S. Washington Avenue. In this area, floats will pass by you twice. That means double the loot!
If you want to stick close to the start of the parade, we recommend finding a spot along S. Royal Street before it meets Dauphin Street.
Another great place to stake out on this route is N. Broad Street between the places where it meets Old Shell Road and Canal Street. If floats have any big prizes to throw away before they end the parade, this is a good place for it to happen.
Route A Parades
- Fri, February 11: Conde Cavalier’s Parade at 6:30PM
- Sat, February 12: Mystic DJ Riders at 2:30PM
- Sat, February 12: Pharaohs Parade & Order of Hebe Parade at 6:30PM
- Sat, February 12: Conde Explorers Parade at 7PM
- Thur, February 17: Order of Polka Dots Parade at 6:30PM
- Fri, February 18: Order of Inca Parade at 6:30PM
- Sat, February 19: Mobile Mystics Parade at 2PM
- Sat, February 19: Mobile Mystical Revelers Parade at 6:30PM
- Sat, February 19: Order of Butterfly Maidens Parade at 7PM
- Sat, February 19: Krewe of Marry Mates Parade & Krewe de Secondline at 7:30PM
- Sun, February 20: Neptune’s Daughter Parade at 6:30PM
- Sun, February 20: Order of Isis Parade at 7PM
- Mon, February 21: Order of Venus Parade at 6:30PM
- Mon, February 21: Order of Many Faces Parade at 7PM
- Tues, February 22: Order of LaShe’s Parade at 6:30 PM
- Thur, February 24: Mystic Stripers Society Parade at 6:30PM
- Fri, February 25: Crewe of Columbus Parade at 6:30PM
- Sat, February 26: Floral Parade at noon
- Sat, February 26: Knights of Mobile Parade & Joy of Life Parade at 12:30PM
- Sat, February 26: Mobile Mystical Ladies Parade at 1PM
- Sat, February 26: Order of Angels Parade at 1:30PM
- Sun, February 27: Joe Cain Procession at 2:30PM
- Sun, February 27: Le Krewe de Bienville Parade at 5PM
- Mon, February 28: King Felix III Parade at noon
- Mon, February 28: Floral Parade at noon
- Tues, March 1: Order of Athena Parade at 10:30AM
- Tues, March 1: Knights of Revelry Parade at 12:30PM
- Tues, March 1: King Felix III Parade at 1PM
- Tues, March 1: Comic Cowboys Parade at 1:30PM
Currently, Route B will only be used on Fat Tuesday for the MAMGA Mammoth Parade.
We recommend finding a spot somewhere along Springhill Avenue between N. Ann Street and S. Washington Avenue. It’s the longest path followed and is within the first half of the route so you’re sure to get some good throws.
If you want to make sure you get to see the floats twice, find a spot on Government Street between S. Washington Avenue and N. Franklin Street.
Route B Parades
- Tues, March 1: MAMGA Mammoth Parade at 2PM
Route C is followed by none other than the Order of Myths Parade. The Order of Myths is the oldest mystic society in Mobile. Considering the fact that the legend Joe Cain was a member of this society, it’s a parade you don’t want to miss.
The best place to camp out is definitely on Government Street between its intersections with N. Washington Avenue and S. Joachim Street. Once again, double the loot!
If you want extra spoils but Government street is too crowded, try watching along S. Conception Street, St Francis Street, or N. Royal Street. These spots are close to the beginning and end of the parade, so you have a big chance to get better goods.
Route C Parades
- Tues, March 1: Order of Myths Parade at 6PM
Route D is fairly simple. The upside to this is that you can see three different parades back-to-back.
Springhill Avenue or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Avenue are the most obvious places to watch the parade. Because the route follows these two streets the longest, there should be a bit more space for you to really jump for those beads.
Route D Parades
- Mon, February 28: MLK Business & Civic Organization Parade at 3PM
- Mon, February 28: MLK Monday Mystics Parade at 3:30PM
- Mon, February 28: Northside Merchants Parade at 4PM
Route E will be used for the King Elexis I Motorcade.
We recommend viewing from either Government Street or S. Broad Street for the best time.
Route E Parades
- Sun, February 27: King Elexis I Motorcade at 2PM
Route F will only be used on Lundi Gras for the Infant Mystics Parade and the order of Doves Parade. These parades occur back-to-back, so we recommend staying to watch both.
Government Street is a good option for watching these parades. If it’s too crowded, you may want to try watching from Church Street, Springhill Avenue, or S. Royal Street.
Route F Parades
- Mon, February 28: Infant Mystics Parade at 7PM
- Mon, February 28: Order of Doves Parade at 7:30PM
Route G will be followed by the Maids of Mirth Parade. The Maids of Mirth was one of the first two groups of women to parade in Mobile. Did someone say girl power?
Of course, Government Street is a great choice to watch the parade from. However, if you stay between Government Street’s intersections with S. Washington Avenue and N. Claiborne Street, you can see the floats twice.
Route G Parades
- Sat, February 19: Maids of Mirth Parade at 6:30PM
Route H is followed by the Mystics of Time Parade: arguably one of the most popular Mardi Gras parades of the season.
If you stake out Government Street between its intersections with S. Dearborn Street and N. Claiborne Street, you can see the floats up to three times. I know what you’re thinking: Jackpot!
Of course, N. Broad Street, S. Royal Street, Church Street, Springhill Avenue and Canal Street are also good options for catching this parade.
Route H Parades
- Sat, February 26: Mystics of Time Parade at 6PM
There are currently no parades scheduled to use Route I. We’ll update the information for this route if any are added.
Keep in mind that parking is the most challenging portion of attending a Mardi Gras Parade. Spots fill up quickly, so get there early.
Keep an eye out for purple and gold signs that denote no parking zones. Be sure when you park that you aren’t blocking any private driveways, and aren’t on the sidewalk.
Parking lots should be your first choice, but be sure to check with the Mobile Alabama Parking website about parking meters if you have to use one. On Fat Tuesday parking meters are free. You will most likely have to use meter parking for Route D.
The Civic Center will offer parking for $10 regularly and $15 on Joe Cain Day and Fat Tuesday. This is a fantastic solution for Route A parades, considering it is the starting point and endpoint for the route. It also is a great option for Routes B, C, E, F, G and H as part of the routes are near the Civic Center.
You may also be able to find parking at one of the following locations:
- 261 St Anthony Street, Mobile, AL 36603
- 250 St Louis Street, Mobile, AL 36602
- 211 St Louis Street, Mobile, AL, 36602
- 105 N. Joachim Street, Mobile, AL, 36602
- 206 St Michael Street, Mobile, AL, 36602
- 51 S. Joachim St, Mobile, AL, 36602
- 359 St Michael Street, Mobile, AL, 36602