1. Introduction

Welcome to the William and Emily Hearin Carnival Museum. The museum is a project of the Mobile Carnival Association, and is a non-profit funded through donations and financial support from people interested in sharing Mardi Gras with the public. Mobile looks forward to celebrating Carnival each year. From humble beginnings of the celebration since 1703 to the grand extravaganza of today, Mobilians are indeed proud of their celebration. Today we will share with you the rich history of Mobile’s Mardi Gras.

The museum highlights two distinctive sides of Mardi Gras--the street party side and the royal side. The street party is mostly defined by parades featuring marching bands and floats made of papier-mâché with costumed riders called “maskers,” who ride the floats and throw trinkets, beads, and goodies to parade-goers. Crowds line the streets and are kept at bay by barricades along the parade route.

On your tour you will encounter stops denoted by numbered signs. To learn more about that display, simply press the stop number. Smart phone users may also scan the QR code. Enjoy your tour today, or in Mardi Gras lingo, "Let the good times roll."