BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) “Oh my gosh, there are so many parades,” says Barb Yaros from Michigan. “I think I counted over 30. Moon pies, beads, everybody is just happy.”
For more than 40 years, the good times have been rolling in Baldwin County. “I’d say it’s just a wide-open party.”
Centuries earlier, the celebration started in Mobile but folks in Baldwin County wanted to get in on the action. “I think a lot of people picked it up from going to Mobile parades, enjoying Mobile,” says Mardi Gras historian Judy Kaiser. “People in Fairhope and Daphne, they started seeing how much fun it was and how many people it brought in,” adds Margaret Long.
From humble beginnings, the parties, the parades have grown and brought with it an economic boost. “Of course you’ve got to figure how much money it brings into the area that’s the thing,” says Jim McCutcheon from Gulf Shores.
Kaiser described it as “a spring break for adults that opens up the season for us.”
The true meaning of Mardi Gras may be open to interpretation, “The culture, the atmosphere, there’s just a little bit of something for everybody,” says Jayme Cooper. “I think you can define what you want it to be.” For folks in Baldwin County, it is a unique, family-friendly celebration, that’s getting bigger every year.