Mardi Gras Menu
Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
Mardi Gras New Orleans
Mardi Gras Alabama
Mardi Gras Mississippi
Mardi Gras Web Cams
Mardi Gras Photo Galleries
The Origin of Mardi Gras
The History of Gulf Coast Mardi Gras
King Cakes- History & More
Mardi Gras Krewes
Mardi Gras Art & Souvenirs
Mardi Gras Links





" We all get a little wild
at the Mardi Gras"


Mardi Gras started a long, long time ago, and at different times in different places, it's origins are based in religion and tradition.


 1830-  “ Rakin Cowbellion de Society”, paraded the following New Year's Eve in 1931.


1857 the “ Krewe of Comos “ hosted the first organized Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
City Officials site Comos as saving New Orleans Marid Gras.
Starting the tradition of the presenting of a King Cake to ladies and the lady who finds the "golden bean" will be the queen.

1870, The 12th Night Revelers- after the Civil War a second Krewe made it’s debut. They named themselves the Twelfth Night Revelers and chose Jan 6, ( the 12th night) to present their parade and ball.  They are responsible for the introduction of a tradition still recognized today. A Mardi Gras Queen, via the selection of the Queen by presenting ladies with a King Cake  with a small golden bean inside. The lucky lady finding the bean becomes the Queen. ( click here for King Cake history and ordering info)The Revelers no longer host a parade. The Revelers ball and their traditional streetcar , “ Phunny Phorty Phellows”  mark the official start of the season for Mardi Gras in New Orleans to this day.

In 1872- REX- A Royal visit brings about the birth of New Krewes and new traditions. Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia plans to visit the city to see  a performance by Miss Lydia Thompson. It is rumored that the Duke had received a “private performance” by Miss Thompson in New York where she sang a ballad “If Ever I Ccease to Love” .  Prominat City leaders and citizens decided to create a new Krewe, complete with a Royal Court, including a King and Queen.  They named their group, “School of Design” and their Kings name would be REX,  ( Latin for King). Rex declared the official colors of Mardi Gras to be Purple, standing for justice, GOLD standing for power and GREEN representing faith.  An official viewing stand was created for the Duke, and as he watched REX was perched high atop a riverboat,  then leading a group of  a reported 10,000 masked revilers more than a mile long past the Duke. Several bands were in this group and they all played the song, “If Ever I Cease to Love”  .  Even over 135 years later Rex is still the King of Carnival in New Orleans, The song is still the official song and the colors remain fast in tradition today.

1873 The Knights of  MOMOS, was founded , taking it’s name from one of ESOPs fables, and making it’s debut on New Years Eve.

1882-The Krewe of PROTEUS, was founded, with an Egyptian themed ball and parade.

1890 the first Marching Krewe,  “The Jefferson City Buzzards” was formed and began participating.

In 1894, The Original Illinois Club was the first  black Mardi Gras Association.

1896, the first all female Krewe was born,  Les Mysterieuses.

1908 - Gulf Coast Carnival Association Roots- Biloxi Mississippi was the first City in Mississippi to host an official Mardi Gras parade in 1908 with 17 floats, 150 torch carriers their Monarchs were King d’Iberville and Queen Ixolib, ( Biloxi spelled backwards)  In 1916 a group organized in Biloxi Mississippi, named themselves the Biloxi Literary and Carnival Association, which became the Gulf Coast Carnival Association chartered in 1946 and still participating and hosting parades today. In 1929 other coast cities joined in the tradition and started forming their own Krewes and hosting parades and balls.

In 1909, Zulu was born, it is the oldest parading African-American krewe. The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, which first took to the streets in 1909. As a parody of REX, King Zulu rode in on an Oyster Lugar instead of a steam boat. The group dressed its king in a sack and a crown fashioned from a lard can. A banana stalk was his scepter. ZULU fast became a crowd favorite and remains so today. They introduced the gilded coconuts (painted gold and decorated with glitter) are one of the season's most prized throws but outlawed now in many parades due to public safety risks. ( Getting hit in the head with a coconut from a float can lead to an abrupt halt in your Mardi Gras plan).

1966- The Krewe of Nerieds- The Krewe of Nereids was organized in 1966 by a group of outstanding Waveland, Mississippi business and professional women, and now includes in its membership ladies not only from the Bay St. Louis - Waveland area, but from the entire coastal region and beyond. 2006 marks the Krewes 40th anniversary.


1988- The North Bay Area Mardi Gras Association was formed by Jane & Joe Rogers, Jim and Judy Bird. They rolled their first parade thru the streets of Diberville and St Martin Mississippi in 1989. Each year they welcome new krewes and groups into the parade they host which is traditionally the Sunday before fat tuesday. Their Queen is La Marin, named after one of the ships that Pierre Lemoyne dIberville sailed to this area. LeMoyne was selected as the name for their king because of the historical ties to the area. Their emblem was designed thru a contest in local schools, and is used to this day.
In 2006 the association rolled it's parade even after the absolute devastation to these small communities just 6 months earlier by Hurricane Katrina. They did not host a ball or have royalty rule for the 2006 parade, opting to carry it over to a new year.  You can watch a slide show of the North Bay Area Mardi Gras Association 2006 parade by clicking here.


More info and contact info concerning Krewes coming soon,

Until then read about the formation of several Krewes in the History of Mardi Gras


Send in your Mardi Gras Photos to