This morning, I was glancing through the February issue of Mobile Bay Monthly and learned something new about Mobile's Mardi Gras traditions. For those who've been to a Mardi Gras parade in the city or in one of our nearby communities, you know that one of the most popular throws is a MoonPie . There are all kinds of flavors, and people have their favorites. (I like traditional chocolate MoonPies the most).
But did you know that this tradition is not all that old?
While MoonPies date back more than one hundred years, to 1917, the history of throwing MoonPies dates back to just 1974. A couple of years earlier, the city had banned Cracker Jack boxes being thrown from floats. By the way, a ban on Cracker Jack boxes makes a whole lot of sense. Those boxes had some relatively sharp edges. I promise you do NOT want an aggressive reveler hitting you with one of them. Ouch!
So the Maids of Mirth found another fun food to use with their throws: MoonPies. It caught on, and now any self-respecting krewe is going to throw original MoonPies in one of their many flavors. There are cheap knock-off brands out there, but I haven't seen one thrown at a Mardi Gras parade in years!
In the 45 years since the very first MoonPie was thrown in a parade, we've become a city that's more about MoonPies than even Chattanooga -- the city where they're made. We've had a MoonPie drop for more than a decade (props to Fred Richardson!), and we now have a cool MoonPie store in Downtown Mobile. And for what it's worth, the MoonPie company also has an awesome Twitter account.
To read more, get this month's issue of Mobile Bay Monthly .