Mobile's Mardi Gras Secrets: Part 2
Last year when we heard about Mobile, Alabama-based Keyhole Photo and husband and wife team Meggan and Jeff Haller’s Mardi Gras photography project, we gave them a call to find out more. They decided to start documenting the festivities — Mobile is credited with holding the first official Mardi Gras in 1703 — a few years before by attending parades, pageants, balls and a few of the more secret happenings around the city. Meggan says this year will be no different and agreed to share a few more photos with us. “We are still just chipping away at the project little by little, and I think this year’s Mardi Gras is going to present us some wonderful opportunities,” she said by e-mail from Mobile. “Everyone has their own Mardi Gras traditions — that’s what the celebration is about — and we always welcome suggestions.” Keyhole Photo’s Mardi Gras Project pics can be viewed in the “Bon Temps” gallery on their website and in our photo essay from last year. The Hallers ask that groups with annual traditions, secrets, after-parties and general Mardi Gras stories to tell contact them through their site. To find out more about Mobile Mardi Gras and see a parade schedule, visit mobilemardigras.com.
Queen Ethel Vaisin is crowned at a ceremony at the Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart Residence in Mobile. Each year, the nursing home elects and crowns its own Mardi Gras king and queen from among its residents in order to bring some aspects of the celebration to them. Photo by Keyhole Photo.
Cain’s Merry Widows toss beads and black roses to revelers as they grieve at Joe Cain’s grave in the Church Street Graveyard in Mobile. The ritual is followed by a short ceremony at Cain’s home on Augusta Street in Oakleigh Garden District. The identities of Cain’s Merry Widows, who represent the 20 fictional widows of Joe Cain, one of Mobile’s earliest patrons of the Mardi Gras tradition, are kept secret. Photo by Keyhole Photo.