Mardi Gras was discovered for the first time in the New World in 1703 at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, the first settlement in Mobile. The first masked parading society, the Cowbellion de Rakin society, was formed in 1830. Many additional societies have since formed. Currently, there are over 50 parading and non-parading organizations in Mobile.

Mardi Gras celebrations are born every year in cities across the nation, but none compare to the celebration in Mobile. For three weeks every February, Mobile comes alive with pageantry, parades and balls associated with carnival. Mardi Gras in Mobile has been referred to as the largest street party in the country. National Geographic says the coronations of the carnival courts rival coronations of Europe's heads of state.