Let the good times roll in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Mobile during Mardi Gras. While you might think the festive holiday began in New Orleans, Louisiana, it actually started in Mobile, Alabama - and this area definitely knows how to have a good time when the season rolls around. Since the celebrations first began centuries ago, few things have changed about the festivities. The parades and elaborate costumes have always been a part of Mardi Gras. Every year brings about even more ornate fashion and, you guessed it, thousands upon thousands of colorful beads, candies, moon pies (a Mardi Gras tradition) and even stuffed animals.

Fun for the whole family

Mardi Gras in Mobile: Not your average Fat TuesdayVisitors of all ages can participate in Mardi Gras events. While the parades themselves are sure to be the most popular events, there will be a variety of other activities for you to enjoy. The streets will be filled with food vendors and fun-loving neighbors, so arrive early and make some new friends. Your children will have a blast as each float passes by, and they may just find themselves loaded down with beads, moon pies and maybe even a favorite toy to bring back with them to your Gulf Shores rental.

Awesome floats

Like the festivities themselves, the parade floats are nothing like what you've seen before. Groups put together totally unique setups, and if past Mardi Gras celebrations are any indicator to what you'll see, you'll simply be amazed. Past themes include "Let's Fly Away," which the Order of Athena presented, while some organizations nodded to pop culture like the Harry Potter-themed float. 

Start planning your brightly colored wardrobe (purple, gold and green are good choices), and grab an empty bag or two to collect the "throws" at each parade. You'll find it easy to fit the merriment into your schedule, as parades occur almost nightly during the season.