More than 100,000 people could flood the streets of downtown Mobile Sunday in the ever popular Joe Cain Day parade.
Cain is credited with bringing back Mardi Gras to the port city after the Civil War. In 1866, Cain, dressed as a fictitious Native American war chief called “Chief Slacabamorinico
paraded through downtown Mobile to the puzzlement of Union forces occupying the city and to the joy of Mobile residents who love the Mardi Gras season.
The day begins shortly before 11:30 a.m. with the Merry Widows of Joe Cain, a mystic society so secret no one really knows who they are, arrive at Joe Cain’s grave at the Church Street cemetery to mourn his passing. But the weeping doesn’t last for long. Soon, the Merry Widows, along with the people who are at the churchyard to watch the festivities, are dancing to the favorite tunes of the Carnival season.
There is also a mystic society called The Mistresses of Joe Cain. Instead of wearing black, like the Widows, their costumes are a bright scarlet. They, along with the Merry Widows are part of the parade.
The Joe Cain Day parade or the People’s parade as it is sometimes known, begins at 2:30 p.m. in downtown Mobile. Mobile Police want to remind party-goers to obey the rules: don’t cross the barricades and don’t park in an illegal parking area. Expect a heavy fine if you do.