According to Le Krewe de Bienville's web site, the organization was founded in 1961 as Mobile's "only civic Mardi Gras organization ... chartered for the purpose of promoting Mobile as the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States."
"To this end, members of the krewe travel to festivals throughout the U.S. to tell the story of Mobile's Mardi Gras and invite visitors to our Carnival."
The krewe, created by downtown hotel owners and then-Mayor Joe Langan, was started as a non-parading organization, and its ball was often referred to as the out-of-towners' ball. The idea was that folks visiting from out-of-town could never attend a Mardi Gras ball because they couldn't score an invitation. Attending the ball put on by Le Krewe de Bienville, however, requires only the purchase of a ticket.
In 1999, the krewe held its first parade on Joe Cain Day. Anyone can purchase a spot on a float in that parade. A package that includes riding in the parade and attending the ball is a reasonable $160 per adult.
To see the Mask's photos and video of previous Le Krewe de Bienville parades, click here.
This year, Le Krewe de Bienville paraded on Joe Cain Day, February 26, at 5 p.m. with 10 rented floats, including one manned by about 20 disabled veterans from several eras.
To see Mobile Mask's HD video of the 2017 parade, click here.
The Mask's exclusive slideshow of the 2017 parade is below:
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