Michigan's first Catholic settlers were French, but the Fat Tuesday celebrations of modern times in Detroit stem from more the recent influence of the Polish Paczki Day. Locals flock to the local bakeries of Hamtramck to enjoy the large round Paczki doughnuts filled with raspberry, prune or vanilla cream. The colder climate of Michigan does not lend itself to a Carnival type celebration but the local media outlets do make a spectacle of Paczki day every year.
Galveston, Texas is home to a large Mardi Gras festival, the Island tradition begun in 1867, and which is held in the historic Strand District on Galveston Island on the Texas Gulf Coast. The first year that Mardi Gras was celebrated on a grand scale in Galveston was 1871 with the emergence of two rival Mardi Gras societies, or "Krewes" called the Knights of Momus (known only by the initials "K.O.M.") and the Knights of Myth, both of which devised night parades, masked balls, exquisite costumes and elaborate invitations. The Knights of Momus, led by some prominent Galvestonians, decorated horse-drawn wagons for a torch lit night parade. Boasting such themes as "The Crusades," "Peter the Great," and "Ancient France," the procession through downtown Galveston culminated at Turner Hall with a presentation of tableaux and a grand gala. The annual event draws 250,000 revelers from all over Texas (predominately the Houston metro) to Galveston Island each year.
Biloxi, Mississippi holds a traditional morning parade by the Gulf Coast Carnival Association (GCCA). Nearby Gulfport, Mississippi holds a traditional night parade sponsored by the Krewe of Gemini. Other parades include evening events in D'Iberville, Mississippi and Gautier, Mississippi. Damage from Hurricane Katrina has led to either deviation from traditional routes or parade cancellations in some locations.
Mobile, Alabama, as the first capital of French Louisiana, has the longest tradition of observing Mardi Gras in America, with the celebration of Mardi Gras in Mobile dating back to 1703, and detailed by the Mardi Gras Museum in downtown Mobile. In 1704, Mobile began the annual masked ball, Masque De La Mobile, and in 1711, Mobile began the first parades. In 1723, the capital of Louisiana was moved to a new town founded 1718 called "Nouvelle Orleans" (New Orleans), and the tradition, which had started 20 years earlier in Mobile, was expanded. Nearly 125 years after Mobile's first parade of 1711, a krewe from Mobile, the Cowbellion de Rakin' Society, began the first known parades in New Orleans (1835).
Celebrations were halted with the American Civil War, but were revived with a parade in Mobile by Joe Cain in 1866, whose memory is still honored each Carnival (see: the Joe Cain Parade, including his honorary "Merry Widows"). The Mobile Mardi Gras season has always been concluded by the Order of Myths (OOM) parade, produced by the society of the same name since 1868. This is a special honor, because the 'double-O M's' are one of the oldest continuously parading Mardi Gras societies in America. Other parading organizations of long-standing include the Infant Mystics, an annual event since 1874 and who roll on the Monday evening prior to Mardi Gras; the Knights of Revelry, who have rolled at midday on Fat Tuesday since 1875; and the satirical Comic Cowboys, who have paraded on Mardi Gras afternoon since 1884. Mobile Mardi Gras royalty includes King Felix, who has reigned since 1872, and his queen, as well as the king and queen of the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association. Each of Mobile's more than two dozen parades draw, according to careful police estimates, anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 spectators. During these parades - held on Mardi Gras itself and in the three weeks preceding it - masked and costumed float riders toss candy, beads (bead necklaces), toys, stuffed animals, commemorative stamped coins, and Moon Pies, a sweet baked good that combines a graham cracker like crust with marshmallow and is then covered in a flavored frosting (typically chocolate, banana, or strawberry). While most parading societies also hold elaborate balls, other societies stage balls only, such as the city's oldest mystic society, the Striker's Independent Society, formed in 1843.
Events: On February 28, 2006, Mobile had what is believed to be the largest Mardi Gras celebration in its history, with more than 244,000 revelers packing the downtown area on Fat Tuesday.
Pensacola, Florida hosts a Mardi Gras Celebration. The Pensacola celebrations also use Moon Pies in combination with beads, coins, candies & Krewe related trades. Pensacola holds two Mardi Gras parades a year. The Annual Krewe of Lafitte Mardi Gras Parade on Friday night will roll through the streets of downtown, as the only privately funded nighttime parade in the Pensacola area. With a much larger Pensacola Grand Mardi Gras Parade held on Saturday during the day that any Krewe can participate in. The surrounding island cities also hold their own parades throughout the Mardi Gras season.
Soulard hosts the St. Louis Mardi Gras festival, generally attracting between 500,000 and 600,000 people and growing each year. It's been said St.Louis hosts the 7th largest Mardi Gras party in the world. The event is similar to the New Orleans celebration in that it hosts several parades during the Mardi Gras season. It is, however, thwarted by the celebration that is held in New Orleans every year. On the second Saturday before Mardi Gras, there is a family-oriented "Krewe of Barkus" pet parade. Participants consist of anyone who dresses up their pet in costume, and walks their pet along the parade route. The parade is followed by the informal Wiener dog races. Then, on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday, the more adult-oriented flesh-for-beads parade occurs, although there have been various attempts to reserve a family section at one end of the route. People from all over come to storm the streets with beer and bead necklaces after the Saturday parade. The streets of Soulard, Geyer, Allen, Russell, Ann, Shenandoah, and others are crowded with people from 7th to 12th Street. The Fat Tuesday parade occurs in the evening, and in recent years has been moved just north of Soulard to downtown St. Louis.
Port Arthur, Texas is the home to a very fast-growing Mardi Gras celebration. It began in 1992.
As of 2005, there is a corporate sponsored party in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego.
San Luis Obispo
Mardi Gras celebrations have been controversial in recent years, with leaders of this Central California city calling for an end to public celebrations in 2005. Civic and university leaders hope to end the event as a state-wide party destination for students. See San Luis Obispo Mardi Gras controversy.
In the Caribbean, Carnival is celebrated on a number of islands: Aruba, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago are some of the celebrants.
In Mexico, there are big Carnival celebrations every year in Mazatlán, which has "The third largest Mardi Gras in the world", and Veracruz, which that include the election of a queen and street parades. There is also a week-long Carnival or Mardi Gras celebration in Mérida, Yucatán.
In Binche the "Mardi Gras" is the most important day of the year and the summit of the Carnival of Binche. Around 1000 Gilles are dancing through the city from 4.00 AM to late hours on traditional carnival songs. In 2003, the Carnival of Binche was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Carnival is celebrated in much of Italy. That in Venice is one of the most famous in the world, along with that of Rio and New Orleans. See: Carnival of Venice
Carnival is celebrated in several Argentinean cities in the subtropical northeast. Carnival in Buenos Aires is notable for the dancing murga troupes.
Montevideo hosts a large and lively Carnival, especially in its southern barrios.
Carnival is celebrated in several Panamanian cities such as Las Tablas, Ocu, Chitre, Penonomé and Panama City. Carnival in this country is characterized by the soaking of people mainly via the use of water trucks and hoses. The celebrations tend to last through a four day holiday weekend.
In Slovenia is called Kurentovanje. It’s from word Kurent and it’s a name of the mask, made of sheep skin, richly decorated and they make noise with bells attached on hips. It is also traditional to eat doughnuts.
In Sweden this is called Fettisdagen. It comes from the word "fett" (fat) and "tisdag" (Tuesday). Originally, this was the only day one should eat "Semlor" (Semla) (fat Tuesday buns), but these are now found in most grocery stores and bakeries preceding the holiday, and up until Easter.