Mobile, Alabama can claim that they have the original Mardi Gras all they want, but we'll take Louisiana Carnival celebrations any day. And if you  have friends and family who aren't from here, but want to celebrate Fat Tuesday, you might want to pass this along to them. Because there are certainly some fun times to be had outside of the Big Easy before the official party on February 25th this year.

The Chicago Tribune found some places that embrace carnival season as much as we do, so, hey, if you're anywhere near the locations below, make sure you still scream out 'Throw me something, mister!'

  •  Orlando, Florida will host a Mardi Gras Parade at Universal Studios that will toss out over a million beads and trinkets. Check out their cool video below
  •  San Francisco celebrates at a vintage soda fountain that serves Mardi Gras flavored milkshakes, and even offers gift cards to folks who find a baby in their slice of brioche, which I guess is their version of King Cake
  •  Dallas,Texas puts a German spin on our favorite Mardi Gras traditions. They replace King Cake with Grilled Brats, Currywurst, Fleischkäse Brötchen, Kartoffelpuffer, & "Karnevals-Krapfen, and call their celebration 'Fasching Fest'
  •  Minneapolis toasts the season with a Mardi Pub Crawl, and in the spirit of giving, donates proceeds to an organization that provides free meals to the needy
  • Juneau, Alaska now hosts their own Masquerade Ball each year
  • Biloxi, Mississippi. This celebration is called Gulf Coast Mardi Gras, and they have over 24 parades, and a pretty awesome mardi Gras Museum to visit during the festivities.
  • Pensacola, Florida. Fat Tuesday has been celebrated in this Gulf Coast city since 1874, so they know how to throw a party, for sure!
  • Galveston, Texas. The biggest Mardi Gras celebration in Texas, with 22 parades, 30 live concerts, and 5 masquerade balls.
  • St Louis. This Missouri city claims they have the world's largest animal parade, which is the Beggin' Barkus Pet Parade during carnival festivities. they also have a cajun food cook-off, and of course, tons of parades.