I know it’s been a while since I’ve been back to Alabama for a visit, but I had completely forgotten about the Mardi Gras season and the related festivities. We were heading through Fairhope Alabama to get to our destination of which I can’t remember at the time. We never got there. Once we got into town, I noticed that there were thousands of people lining the streets. “Uh-oh, I think we’ve gotten into something we shouldn’t have… look at all these people…” Mom said, “Hey, it must be a parade beginning to start… lets pull over and watch. It won’t take long. This is not New Orleans for goodness sake.” I pulled over and parked. It was the parade of the dog, or a parade in honor of your pet. Once I got out and walking, I noticed that 8 out of 10 observers on the side of the street had a dog with them. This will be good, I thought. I’m bound to see several fierce dog fights before I get out of here. Anyhow, the parade soon started. There were floats, wagons, high school bands playing their song, people dressed up… all throwing moon pies, plastic beads, and trinkets. It went on for at least an hour. It was the longest parade that I have ever seen in my life… amazing.
As a rule, even though I grew up and lived down here, I never went to parade. It was always a haven for predators to take advantage of drunks and tourists. The hospital in New Orleans where I worked, always paid overtime for anyone willing to come in and stay the duration. For a city that was the “murder capital of the United States,” it went into overdrive on the holiday.
The Mardi Gras celebration is, pretty much, a religious originated by the Catholic church. The holiday season begins on or after Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. Well, from this simple holiday, it has grown and morphed into a drunken, insane, crime-fest in the city of New Orleans, LA and MobileAL. Some of the smaller communities like GulfShores and Fairhope has started up with the celebration also. However, this parade seemed quite civil and good. I mean, I didn’t see not one shooting or stabbing victim throughout the whole parade!