Mardi Gras on the Gulf Coast

While many consider New Orleans the hub of Mardi Gras in the U.S., you might be surprised to learn that it actually began in the Gulf Coast town of Mobile, Alabama. Mardi Gras has been celebrated with parades, balls, food, drinks, and overall revelry for years…and that tradition continues today. Not too far from Gulf Shores, this celebration is unlike any other, and it offers something for both adults and children.

One great thing about staying with us in Fort Morgan while you’re here for the Mardi Gras celebration – you can avoid the crowds when you want, but join in on the fun anytime! If you’re heading to Gulf Shores for Mardi Gras, read on to see what’s in store for you.

The Mardi Gras parades in Mobile features a huge lineup of guests, including many local groups and societies. The parades will run from Friday, January 30, until Tuesday, February 17, with exciting events each day. Groups will parade through this Gulf Coast town with their best float work, offering tons of entertainment along the way. Each day, many of the groups will also host balls to celebrate Mardi Gras. While some balls are by invitation only, some groups sell tickets to the public, so you can join in on the fun! Another interesting part of Mardi Gras on the Gulf Coast is the throwing of MoonPies®. It’s a long-standing tradition at the parade that children will especially love. Of course, there will be plenty of other booty tossed out, so get ready to take home some fun mementos.

For more information about Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebrations, check out cityofmobile.org. Here you’ll find parade routes, schedules, and more. You can also visit the Mobile Carnival Museum and learn all about the history of Mardi Gras in Mobile, Alabama!

If you want to celebrate Mardi Gras but want to stay a bit closer to Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, LuLu’s will be hosting its 3rd Annual Birds of Paradise Mardi Gras Ball on February 11. Admission is $60 and the celebration will include a buffet dinner, open bar, and entertainment by The Tip Tops! It’s just for those 21 and over, and it’s sure to be a fun night to remember. For more information, call 251.967.LULU (5858) or go to www.lulubuffet.com. The “Krewe De Lu Roux’s Mardi Gras Ball” will be one event you won’t want to miss!

3…2…1…Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve is time to celebrate the past year and welcome in a new one. It’s a time for families and friends to gather, reminisce, and let loose! If you’re looking to mix it up this year, check out the New Year’s Eve events on the Gulf Coast. Located just a short drive from Fort Morgan, these parties are the perfect way to end 2014 at the beach.

NYE Hangout Peace Out
$35 in advance, $50 VIP
Where: The Hangout in Gulf Shores, AL
When: December 31 at 9 a.m. until January 1 at 2 a.m.

Featuring live entertainment by Kristy Lee and Dirt Road Revival, The Mulligan Brothers, and The Hussy Hicks, the NYE Hangout Peace Out is sure to be a blast. Spend the evening on the Gulf Coast listening to great live music, chowing down on a midnight buffet, and enjoying a balloon drop (with Hangout Music Fest tickets). End the night with a champagne toast by the beach! You can get tickets online, so buy them before they sell out!

8th Annual Noon Year’s Eve
Where: LuLu’s in Gulf Shores, AL
When: December 31 at 10 a.m.

A New Year’s Eve celebration appropriate for the entire family, LuLu’s 8th Annual Noon Year’s Eve features games, great food, and live music. Instead of a countdown at midnight, LuLu’s celebrates with a countdown at noon, complete with kid-safe fireworks and a beach ball drop! There will be face painting, games for kids, clowns, a sand castle contest, and more. Call Lulu’s at 251.967.LULU for more information.

New Year’s Eve Bash
Where: Flora-Bama
When: December 31

Celebrate with the party of the year at the New Year’s Eve Bash at Flora-Bama. The party will feature live music on all three stages throughout the entire night, along with champagne, party favors, and food. Tickets are $35 for people 21 and older, and $45 for people 18-20.

New Year’s Eve | Baytowne Countdown
Where: The Village of Baytown Wharf
When: December 31 at 7 p.m.

A free New Year’s Eve event for families, the New Year’s Eve Baytowne Countdown will end the year with a bang! Celebrate the end of 2014 and usher in 2015 as you dance and watch a fantastic fireworks display over the lagoon at midnight! What a way to spend New Year’s Eve at the beach!

Reeling in the New Year
Where: The Wharf
When: December 31 from 5 p.m. until 12 a.m.

Featuring live entertainment by Dee Jay Silver and 4 Barrel Funk, the New Year’s Eve celebration at The Wharf is a fun street party with fireworks, the Marlin Drop, and family activities. It’s free to the public and offers something for everyone – a kids’ area, live music, and an adults-only area. From 10 a.m. – 12 a.m., kids can enjoy ice skating in Palm Plaza ($10 for two-hour skate session; $12 for two-hour skate session and Ferris wheel ticket). The kids’ area will be open from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. and feature face painting, bouncy houses, a gyro machine, a mechanical bull, and Holiday SPECTRA playing at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. Adults can hang out in The Miller Lite Beer Garden by Marlin Circle on Main Street or upgrade the New Year’s Eve experience with VIP tickets to the Jim Beam Kentucky Fire VIP Club. VIP tickets are $90 and include: access to a lounge area with club seating in the Palms, hors d’oeuvres, complimentary beer, wine, and mixed drinks, party favors, and more!

With so many fun things for kids and adults to enjoy during New Year’s Eve at the beach, you’ll want to start planning your trip to the Gulf Coast now! While you’re planning, check out our beach houses and condos that offer tons of amenities to enjoy before you head out for the night. On New Year’s Day, you’ll have a comfortable place to wind down.