Krewe Parade rolls through the streets of Alexandria

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Turn your Mardi Gras celebration into a good cause this year. Actually, what's a Mardi Gras party without Southern fried Po'Boys and sweet desserts like King Cake, which stores a special surprise baby in one of its slices.

Matrona Wassile is in the program, and said baking the Mardi Gras treats is a lot of fun. "I'm from West Africa and have no family from here".

Considered the largest Mardi Gras celebration in Central Florida, the annual event draws in approximately 40,000 visitors each year to the small town with food vendors, live music, and especially the parade. The Mystic Krewe of the Seahorse Parade will be today at 5 Bay St. Louis.

Many who enjoy the exotic taste of Cajun cuisine may not have ever stepped foot in a cathedral, but this isn't the point of Mardi Gras for Lasof and his team.

"The thing about Mardi Gras is that it's all about having fun and having a party", he said. Stock up on purple, green and gold masks, decorations and food and your party is set to go. Purple signifies justice, gold stands for power and green means faith. This cake, rich in color and flavor, originated in France in 1870 as a cross between a coffee cake and a French pastry.

Christensen came up with the idea of making Mardi Gras-style king cakes in Alaska as a fund raising tool for the Soup Kitchen, and to teach baking skills to women who are homeless so they can find work and turn their lives around.

The parade also featured the 282nd Army Band from Ft.

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But for some, this is their first year celebrating Mardi Gras. CAS freshman Lauren Rodriguez stated that she did not share the excitement of some of her peers.

According to the official Mardi Gras New Orleans website, the first U.S. Mardi Gras occurred in Mobile in 1703 with a secret society, the Masque de Mobile, formed to organize the celebrations.

CAS freshman Charlotte Dankwah is not celebrating the festival this year. "I think we have a horse of every color out here just about".

Rex is New Orleans' oldest parading Carnival group.

"I'd be willing to celebrate it if I knew of any events happening here in the city", Oscodar said. Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday", traces its origins to France, and these traditions were transferred throughout the world as France colonized different regions.

Hazel Wilmoth, Juanita Rogers, Mary Nicholson and Jane Needham pose for a photo in their Mardi Gras finery.