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“Here lies old Joe Cain
The heart and soul of Mardi Gras in Mobile”
[Epitaph from Joe Cain's headstone ]
The Mardi Gras mystic society of Cain’s Merry Widows (a women’s mystic society) was founded in 1974 in Mobile, Alabama, home of the first Mardi Gras in America (1703). Each Mardi Gras, on Joe Cain Day (the Sunday before Fat Tuesday), members of this society dress in black mourning clothes with veils, lay a wreath at Cain’s burial site at Church Street Graveyard, wail over their "departed husband's" grave, then travel to Joe Cain’s former house on Augusta Street to offer a toast and eulogy to their "Beloved Joe"
Joe Cain Day
Downtown Mobile, Al
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