Mobile Carnival Museum

February 27, 2017



Leslie Anne TarabellaLook! I’m the Mardi Gras Queen! (Most fun I’ve had since they installed the round-about in Fairhope!).


Leslie Anne Tarabella
My report about the Mobile Carnival Museum for Register was featured in Sunday’s paper as a FULL PAGE story! (Yippee!) When the paper said they’d find a photographer, I asked if Joseph-the-sweet-son-of-mine-and-amateur-photographer could have the job. They took a chance, and his pictures turned out great! We also got to count our visit to the museum as a homeschool field trip! Hey . . . why not? You can read the story HERE.


Mobile Carnival Museum, Leslie Anne Tarabella Today is Lundi Gras, which is the day before Mardi Gras. Schools here are dismissed and Mobile is having almost continuous parades and balls for the next two days. There’s one in Fairhope tonight, and we’re crossing our fingers for good weather.


Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph Tarabella

The museum, located inside a gorgeous historic home, rotates through the many, many delicate, hand-stitched costumes worn by past Mardi Gras royalty. Since Mobile is the birthplace of American Carnival, there is an endless selection of items to display.


Mobile Carnival Museum, Leslie Anne Tarabella

I popped into the children’s dress-up area to check out the fun costumes.


Mobile Carnival Museum - Leslie Anne TarabellaThis is part of the gift shop adjacent to the museum and operated by Toomey’s Mardi Gras store. There is no charge to enter the gift shop, but the museum charges $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under.


Mobile Carnival Museum, Leslie Anne TarabellaThe details of the costumes are amazing — and let me just warn you now, the museum staff has a serious problem with people trying on the dresses in the ladies room. Geez! I wasn’t going to keep it! Hahaha!


Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph TarabellaI love reading about the royal trains every year. They are designed with bits and pieces of the Queen’s favorite things and family history. One train was so heavy with Swarovski crystals, ball bearings had to be sewn underneath so it would properly glide across the floor!


Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph TarabellaThe Kings also have their uniquely designed train to wear during the parade and coronation ceremony.


Judi Gulledge of the Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph TarabellaThis is the lovely Judi Gulledge who serves as the Executive Director of the museum. She’s absolutely fascinating with her knowledge of the history of Carnival in Mobile.


Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph TarabellaChildren also serve as pages to the Junior court and some of their costumes were on display.


Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph TarabellaThe museum is housed in the historic Bernstein-Bush house, which was constructed in 1883 and was home to one of Mobile’s Mayors.


Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph TarabellaThere’s much more than just costumes in the museum. A full sized replica of a float, framed photos and other memorabilia — like a wooden goat that is over 100 years old, and declared by Sotheby’s to be, “priceless.”


Mobile Carnival Museum, photo by Joseph TarabellaIf you are ever in Mobile and spot the beautiful house on Government Street with the larger-than-life jesters dancing on the veranda, be sure to stop and take a look. And happy Lundi Gras to you!


  • Of course you’re the Queen of Mardi Gras, you most beautiful Little Bitty Pretty One! That is so cute. Now that museum is amazing! When we lived in Galveston, they went all out for Mardi Gras – up here, I don’t think any one knows what it is! 🙂 Hope you’re doing well and keep on bringing us your amazing stories. Always appreciate your visits.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 😉

    • Thanks Sheila! I didn’t know Mardi Gras was celebrated in Galveston, but that makes sense, because it’s kind of a Gulf Coast thing. Enjoy this almost-springtime day!

  • Congrats on you full page feature in the paper Leslie Anne. Love the first pic. I heard you met up with my Traveling Totes Sistas. I told them that I was jealous cuz they got to meet you!! Have a great week.

    • Oh, if only you had been there too! We had a lovely lunch and as I approached them, I saw them furiously snapping photos of their Totes! Hope you have a wonderful week, and thanks for stopping by.

  • Omg, I almost dropped my computer when I saw your picture as the queen, that is hilarious!! How much fun, and those trains, Zowee, ball bearings, really??? Whatever are we all going to do tomorrow when it’s time to pray and fast! Congrats to you and your son, he’s already off to the start of a grand career!

    • Thanks so much Jenna. As you can see we had a great time at the museum. Anytime I get a chance to rule, I’m on it!

  • Sounds like you had a lot of fun while covering that story. And, how awesome that your youngest got to do the photos. Yay for him. Congrats to both of you on the feature!

  • I have been to that museum. It is great and doesn’t take too much time to wander around. By the way… Bloglovin’ will not open your blog for me anymore?

    • WHAT? That gosh darn Bloglovin’!!! I’ll take a look at it. In the past, when Bloglovin’ has given me fits, it’s their fault, but I”ll make sure I’m not doing anything wrong. Thanks for letting me know.

      I’m so glad you’ve been to the museum! I’m going to make a point to return so I can see the exhibits when they change.

  • Wow. congratulations on the full page story, enhanced with the beautiful photo by your son.

  • Have never had a chance to see the royal trains close up before. So impressive.

    • There was another story in yesterday’s paper that described all the costumes in detail. It’s always one of my favorite things to read about. Just amazing!

  • An exciting gig for Joseph and he is getting a great education. He is one very lucky teen.

    • Anything to spend time with the teen is a plus, for me at least! He’s really growing into being a great photographer and videographer, but doesn’t think it will be his career. He has been booked to do some paying jobs and we are using it in his “business” class. Very good experience!

  • Oh my! Those costumes and trains are magnificent!

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