City of Mobile lights world's largest Mardi Gras tree, claims to be location of oldest verified Mardi Gras celebration in U.S.
MOBILE, AL - In 1702, the area now known as Mobile, Alabama was named as the first capital of 'French Louisiana,' and though state lines have since changed, Mobile residents remain proud of their French heritage.
During 2020's Mardi Gras season this pride was front and center as the city erected what its Mayor, Sandy Stimpson, described as "the world's largest Mardi Gras tree."
Al.com reports that Mobile residents are known for repurposing Christmas trees as Mardi Gras trees.
While some simply replace Christmas ornaments with beads and other trinkets caught at parades, others prefer more extravagant decorations.
This year, the city of Mobile decided to go with the latter design for its tree.
Standing tall in Mobile's Mardi Gras Park, the tree is decked out in bright lights and carries a brilliant purple "M" for "Mardi Gras" at its top.
The lights were switched on during a Thursday night celebration featuring live music and Mayor Stimpson reading an official proclamation that recognized the city for having "the oldest verified organized Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States, beginning in 1703" as well as "the first formally organized Mardi Gras parade in the United States in 1830."
The tree is officially lit! It’s Mardi Gras time in the city!! https://t.co/iwZyc2qfGp— Mayor Sandy Stimpson (@MayorStimpson) February 7, 2020
Mobile's first downtown parade of the season, The Conde Cavaliers, rolls at 6:30 p.m., Friday.