New Orleans is synonymous with Mardi Gras, but the coastal region of nearby Mississippi embraces the season with equal gusto. Krewes host parades, including an assortment of more than 100 floats that glide around Biloxi on Fat Tuesday. Duck into the newly opened Mardi Gras Museum there to see costumes, beads, and photographs documenting three centuries of celebration. There’s a kids’ parade in Pascagoula, and balls throughout the month—black tie and gowns required. Keep an eye out for a Mardi Gras tree in people’s homes, too. The Christmas pine is redecorated for the season in a classic trio of colors: purple (for justice), green (for faith), and gold (for power). Most bakeries in the region will also offer a King Cake, a pastry iced in the same shades and served in slices (whoever finds the plastic baby in their piece must provide the cake next year). Try a classic recipe from the Mockingbird Café in Bay St Louis, or Melissa’s in Gulfport.