This timeline shows the start and progression of Mardi Gras in the New World from its start in 1703. Above the center is a picture of Michael Krafft who is credited with originating the first ever Mardi Gras parade in 1830. As shared in our history video, Mr. Krafft was in downtown Mobile with a few friends on New Year’s Eve in 1830. They sought to prolong the partying, and passing a hardware store, they “borrowed” a few items from the store to make noises as they paraded through the streets of Mobile.
This was the beginning of a group who organized themselves as the Cowbellion de Rakin society, or “Cowbellions.” Today, Mobile has over 60 mystic societies with over 33 of them being parading organizations.