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The streets of New Orleans were packed Tuesday with people marking the culmination of Mardi Gras. Though it may be the country’s best-known street party, it’s not the only Mardi Gras in the American south.
In Mobile, Alabama, the tradition is said to go back to 1703, brought by the French colonists who settled the city some fifteen years before they founded New Orleans. And for some people in Mobile, preparing for each year’s celebration is a full-time job.
Patricia Halsell-Richardson, 69, produces so-called regalia — crafting the crowns, collars, and trains for the neighborhood royalty who reign over the city each year.
In Mobile, “kings” and “queens” are selected by historic clubs which nominate young leaders in their community for one-year positions as Mardi Gras royalty. VICE News Tonight joined Halsell-Richardson as she put the finishing touches on clothing she designed for the queen of Mobile’s African American residents group.
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