FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) -- Most people think of New Orleans when they hear the words "Mardi Gras." But the Southern tradition is celebrated in plenty of other places along the Gulf Coast.
And it means big business.
Tourism leaders estimate more than 1 million visitors pour into the Mobile, Ala., area each season to watch the festivities. They spend money at hotels, restaurants and stores during the month-long celebration.
In Florida, Pensacola Beach's Mardi Gras schedule has 16 events, including a Moon Pie party, red beans and rice lunch and a shoe box float contest.