Mardi Gras...the mere mention of these two words convey thoughts of: raucous celebrations, beads flying through the air, ear-to-ear grins plastered on the faces of millions of revelers, and of course floats parading through the streets of New Orleans! While these associations are accurate, this is only taking into account only a small portion of what Mardi Gras stands for and means to millions of people not just in the Bayous and Parishes of Louisiana, but across the world.
However, the first Mardi Gras in North America did not even occur under American rule but more appropriately the French. In 1704, France’s King Louis XIV ordered the brothers Iberville and Bienville LeMoyne to sail from France to defend their territories, which include the areas that now represent: Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Upon arriving, the LeMoyne brothers found the mouth of a body of water, now known as the Mississippi River, and sailed upstream for a few miles until they located the perfect place to build a colony and designated the area as: Point du Mardi Gras.
From these humble beginnings a proud culture of French ancestors known as the Creole population of the Bayous began and prospered, and each year thousands of people become honorary Creoles during Mardi Gras celebrations held throughout the United States. From http://www.mardigrasday.com/