Mobile’s Merry Widows Weep their way to 50 years

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — This year’s Mardi Gras has been marked by several organizations celebrating major anniversaries. Joe Cain’s Merry Widows are 50 years old in 2024. Wearing black from their heads, to their toes, the comically crying merry widows traipse through the graveyard for another year.

Stephanie McQuillan, Mobile: “It’s so cool, though. I mean, this has started Joe Cain started this whole thing. So that’s why we’re here today,” said Stephanie McQuillan who said she was there to support a relative who’s a Merry Widow this year.

The widows are greeted by a screaming crowd. This year they gathered around gold leaves to mark 50 years of wailing and being wild.

“It is the most important day in Mobile’s history. We ain’t got nothing else to look forward to around here but drinking and the death of Joe Cain. But we’re here to celebrate a great cause and enjoy this beautiful day,” said an excited Kenneth Bennett from Satsuma. Of all the Mobile Mardi Gras traditions, this is the one that you could probably say is the city’s signature.

“The day itself is a day for Mobile, to honor a Mobilian. And more than anything it is just it’s about us,” said Mobile Mask Editor & Publisher Steve Joynt.

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