The origins of Mardi Gras go back as far as the roman times. The three day party before any fasting occurred the was known as ‘Carnival’. The celebrations continued and became very popular in Europe after the middle ages. French settlers arriving in Louisiana in the 1760’s brought the Mardi Gras festivals with them. The festivals grew in popularity until 1806 when local civic leaders passed laws outlawing the celebrations. This contradicted popular opinion the celebrations continued and the laws were abolished in 1826.
The next year attendance for the festival surged attracting visitors from France and England. During that time costume balls and masks were popular at parties, and many visiting tourists brought them to the celebrations. The idea was an instant success and is still carried on to this day.