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Mardi Gras Isn’t Just in New Orleans

MOBILE, Ala. — When people think of Mardi Gras, they think of New Orleans. But long before there even was a New Orleans, another Southern city — Mobile, Ala. — was celebrating Mardi Gras in the run-up to Ash Wednesday. Mobile dates its Mardi Gras to 1703, a decade and a half before New Orleans was founded. Its Carnival, the oldest in America, stretches for months, beginning in November with debutante balls and other events.

Ladies of the royal court of the Mobile Carnival Association

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