Mobile Carnival Museum – Mobile, Alabama - Atlas Obscura

Mobile Carnival Museum

In 1703, French settlers in what is now Mobile celebrated the first Mardi Gras celebration in the United States. 

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Though most people associate American celebrations of Mardi Gras with New Orleans, the pre-Lenten festival was actually first observed in the New World by French settlers at Twenty-Seven Mile Bluff, which eventually grew into the city of Mobile, Alabama. This museum, which opened in 2005, tells the story of how the Mardi Gras evolved from that first celebration in 1703 into the modern tradition.

The museum is filled with displays, photographs, posters, and more, but one of its biggest draws is the Carnival costumes. Elaborate gowns, trains, and jewels are on display in the Queen’s Gallery. One does not need to be a seamstress to realize the time, work, and creativity put into creating these one-of-a-kind works of art.

Know Before You Go

The museum is housed in the historic Bernstein-Bush mansion on Government Street in downtown Mobile.

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