When: Feb. 7-25
Sorry, New Orleans. This port city along Alabama's Gulf Coast is said to be the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States. The story goes that the first Mardi Gras celebration happened in 1703, then a man named Joe Cain got it going again after the Civil War by putting on a spur-of-the-moment street parade. Since then, Mobile's Mardi Gras has grown to encompass a festive scene that's also family-friendly. Beginning two-and-a-half weeks before Fat Tuesday, the busy schedule includes a ton of grand parades led by various organizations. And of course, Joe Cain gets his due: Sunday is known as Joe Cain Day, and he gets his own procession!