While the struggle with Americanization extends even into lesbian culture, we remain distinct.

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From here, the traditional revelry of "Boeuf Gras," or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies.

On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans, and named it "Pointe du Mardi Gras" when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday.

Dazzling gaslight torches, or "flambeaux," lit the way for the krewe's members and lent each event an exciting air of romance and festivity.

In 1856, six young Mobile natives formed the Mistick Krewe of Comus, invoking John Milton's hero Comus to represent their organization.

Bienville also established "Fort Louis de la Louisiane" (which is now Mobile) in 1702.

In 1703, the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America's very first Mardi Gras.

In 1704, Mobile established a secret society (Masque de la Mobile), similar to those that form our current Mardi Gras krewes. In 1710, the "Boeuf Gras Society" was formed and paraded from 1711 through 1861.

The procession was held with a huge bull's head pushed along on wheels by 16 men. By the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in New Orleans, but not with the parades we know today.

We’re all better for it and it’s in our best interest that this list continues to grow.