The celebration before Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras, goes by many monikers. Fat Tuesday. Pancake Day. Carnival. Mardi Gras. In French, Mardi Gras literally means Fat Tuesday—and is historically the last binge before Lent, leading up to Easter. We’re fond of Mardi Gras in Mississippi; we throw quite the bash. Looking to learn more? Let’s check out a quick history of Mardi Gras in Biloxi.
Mississippi’s Mardi Gras
While Mobile, Alabama pioneered Mardi Gras celebrations along the Gulf Coast, Biloxi became the first city to continue the trend in Mississippi. Pop-up celebrations dotted the coastline during the 1830s and ‘40s—and Mardi Gras grew from there.
Biloxi’s first official Mardi Gras Parade commenced in 1908, under the helm of the Gulf Coast Carnival Association. The inaugural parade boasted 17 floats, 50 flambeau carriers, the 12-manned Herald Newspaper Band, the mayor and city councilmen, and a grand marshal. This parade also introduced King d’Iberville and Queen Ixolib, hallmarks of the event to this day.
Eight years after the parade’s debut marked the Biloxi Carnival and Literary Association’s incorporation. Greek culture and mythology stood at the root of the organization’s mission.
The history of Mardi Gras in Biloxi was hardly over—and the celebration took hold elsewhere. By 1929, Biloxi’s Mardi Gras spilled over to satellite cities and communities all along the Gulf Coast. The only time the parade has been cancelled was 1942, during the Second World War. Other events, including 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, impacted the community—but did not stop the Mardi Gras spirit from marching on.
The history of Mardi Gras in Biloxi journeys back over a century ago—and the Gulf Coast’s record even longer. If you’re looking for a party this season, Biloxi can provide.
Biloxi is Mardi Gras’ celebration station. There’s plenty to celebrate in Biloxi, including life. Come live it at Maison D’Orleans. Party and play in our community swimming pool and enjoy pet friendly living. You can apply to join us by visiting our website. Be sure to check back with our blog for more on where to party hard and live life to the fullest!