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Fat Tuesday in Mobile


Mardi Gras season in wrapping up in the Mobile area. The City of Mobile has a long history with the carnival season as they started celebrating the holiday when the city was founded in 1702. Fat Tuesday will be on February thirteenth which traditionally means that no celebrations will take place after midnight.

Judi Gulledge is the executive director of the Mobile Carnival Association. She says that historically on Fat Tuesday people would get rid of all the fat in their house leading up to Lent which is a period of penitence for Catholics. “Part of Mardi Gras is parading the fatted ox down the streets, which is what those early celebrations did. And they did that because the fat off of the animals at that time when they would slaughter them was considered a luxury.”

For many, Mardi Gras is much more than collecting beads and trinkets from the many parades in the area. Gulledge said there are several ways to celebrate in the port city. “We celebrate all the way down from the street party side of Mardi Gras where you've got your tailgaters all the way up to the most elaborate parties where things are served on china and with silver goblets. They're very elaborate parties.”

The Mobile Carnival Association runs the Mobile Carnival Museum in downtown Mobile which acts as a resource for all things Mardi Gras related in the City of Mobile.

Joe Moody is a senior news producer and host for Alabama Public Radio. Before joining the news team, he taught academic writing for several years nationally and internationally. Joe has a Master of Arts in foreign language education as well as a Master of Library and Information Studies. When he is not playing his tenor banjo, he enjoys collecting and listening to jazz records from the 1950s and 60s.
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