· Mobile, Alabama
The Big Easy may be the most well-known Mardi Gras city, but Mobile claims to have celebrated the holiday first in 1703. This city is so serious about being the birthplace of Mardi Gras that it created the Mobile Carnival Museum, devoted to its history of the celebration. Unlike the X-rated New Orleans version, Mobile's Mardi Gras prides itself on being family-friendly. Parades with marching bands and big floats take to the streets daily through Fat Tuesday throwing out beads, moon pies, doubloons and candy.
· San Diego, California
San Diego's 21-and-older party in the Gaslamp Quarter is definitely not family-friendly, as downtown is filled with barely dressed ladies on Fat Tuesday. More than 35,000 revelers are expected to turn out for 16th annual event, which includes two parades, carnival games, hip-hop crews, fire performers, bands, DJs and aerial acrobats. G Street will turn into a retro roller rink with disco skaters doing stunts. Unlike the other shindigs listed here, the San Diego celebration costs $15 for entry. You can buy tickets online.
· St. Louis, Missouri
This city has the one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations. And it's no wonder; St. Lou has been partying since January 23. The festivities continue this month with the Southern Comfort Taste of Soulard food fest; a pet parade and wiener dog derby; the River City Casino Grand Parade, one of the Midwest's largest; and a Bud Light party tent that includes an all-you-can-eat Creole-Cajun buffet and an open bar for $100. All of it culminates in a nighttime Fat Tuesday parade.
· Are Mardi Gras Beads Worth Going 'Girls Gone Wild'? [Jaunted]
· Mardi Gras Alternatives Coverage [Jaunted]