Who Invented Mardi Gras?
In today’s episode, we tackle a controversial subject – who invented Mardi Gras? Mobile or New Orleans?
My guest is Ted Flotte, with the Historic Mobile Preservation Society and Joe Cain Marching Society. Ted and I explore the history of Carnival and Mardi Gras in both Mobile and New Orleans.
On today’s show, you’ll learn…
- About the many things Mobile and New Orleans share in common, including their founders
- The history of Carnival and Mardi Gras in both places, and
- How to look for the tell tale signs someone walking down the street may be a member of one of Carnival’s most secret organizations!
All this and more on today’s episode of the Beyond Bourbon Street podcast!
- Ann Pond: Cowbellion; Masons and Mardi Gras; and Cain. Ann Pond is originally from New Orleans, got her BA/MA from U.N.O. and PhD from U.S.M. Former Assistant Diector of the Gallier House. These three books are well-researched and sourced to give an accurate account of the beginning of Mardi Gras in Mobile and New Orleans. Available on Amazon or Lulu.
- Samuel Kinser: Carnival, American Style: Mardi Gras at New Orleans and Mobile. (1990) A Professor of History at Northern Illinois University gives his outsider, academic take. Available on Amazon.
- Rosary O’Neill: New Orleans Carnival Krewes: The History, Spirit & Secrets of Mardi Gras. An insiders view of New Orleans krewes. Available on Amazon.
- Jennifer Atkins, New Orleans Carnival Balls: The Secret Side of Mardi Gras, 1870-1920. Ditto. Available on Amazon.
- Order of Myths, Margaret Brown. A behind-the-scenes look at many aspects of Mobile Mardi Gras. Watch on Amazon.
- By Invitation Only, Rebecca Snedeker. A more incisive and critical (New Orleans Magazine called it a “hatchet job”) look at New Orleans krewes. Available on newday.com.
- Always For Pleasure, Les Blank. A classic.
- All On A Mardi Gras Day, Royce Osborn
- Jeff and Megan Haller, and Eleanor Inge Baker: Bon Temps: Alabama’s Mardi Gras. Available online.
Kerri McCaffety: Masking and Madness: Mardi Gras in New Orleans
- Robert Tallant: Mardi Gras As It Was
- Anything by Henri Schindler, Errol Laborde or Arthur Hardy (New Orleans), or Emily Staples Hearin (Mobile)
- A History of the Strikers 1852- America’s Oldest Mystic Society (1997);
The Mistick Krewe: Chronicles of Comus and his Kin (Perry Young, 1931)
- Our Book of State — The History of the Order of Myths (1967)
- Infant Mystics – The First Hundred Years (Caldwell Delaney/Cornelia McDuffie Turner, 1968)
- If I Ever Cease to Love — One Hundred Years of Rex 1872-1971 (Charles Dufour/Lenoard Huber, 1971)
- Without Malice — the 100th Anniversary of the Comic Cowboys (Samuel Eichold, 1989)
A huge thanks to Ted Flotte, with the Historic Mobile Preservation Society and Joe Cain Marching Society. Ted not only conceived the idea for this episode, but also provided the treasure trove of resources listed above.
Thanks to Liz Maute Cooke of Lionheart Prints for providing a space to record the episode. After we recorded, Liz decided to become our first sponsor – yay! Check out all the fabulous hand lettered cards, prints, and handmade goods made by New Orleans artists. Shop online or in person and use the code BEYONDBOURBON to get 5 bucks off any t-shirt. I am currently loving my “Who’s Your Crawdaddy” shirt with a design hand drawn by Liz.
Want to Make Your Trip to New Orleans the Best Ever?
Of course you do!
If you’re planning a trip to New Orleans and want to cut through all the research we’re here to help. We offer a personalized travel consult. Here’s how it works:
You complete a brief questionnaire to help us get to know you and the experience you want to have in New Orleans. Next, we set up a 20-30 minute phone or video call. During the call, we get to know you a little better. We can clarify any questions and bounce a few ideas off of you to make sure we ‘re on the right track.
Finally, we prepare and deliver a pdf document with our recommendations for your trip. Depending on your needs the report will contain specific places to stay, eat and drink. It will also offer suggestions on things to do and see, all based on your budget and interests.
Sound good? Just go to http://www.beyondbourbonst.com/travel for all the details and a link to order the service.
Subscribe to the Podcast
If you enjoy the show, please subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play Music or wherever you get your podcasts. If you do enjoy listening, please share Beyond Bourbon Street with someone who shares our love of New Orleans.
Join Us on Facebook
We now have a Facebook group where you can ask questions, share your New Orleans experiences and engage with others who love all things New Orleans. Join us by going to www.beyondbourbonst.com/facebook
Got an idea for an episode, have some feedback or just want to say hi?
Leave us a message at 504-475-7632 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for listening!