The Mobile Museum of Art is celebrating a half-century of existence by focusing on Mobile’s most extravagant, expensive and all-consuming happening: Mardi Gras. Their newest exhibition – “The Art and Design of Mardi Gras” – opens Nov. 8 and will recreate the downtown mania in west Mobile’s Langan Park.

The first in the string of events is a two-day open house lasting from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Nov. 8 and 9, during which museum entrance is free. Featured will be carnival cuisine, live music and second line dances.

The second floor of the museum will be swallowed by an exhibit that has recruited partnership with the Carnival Museum and the History Museum of Mobile. Floats, photos, costumes, all 15,500 square feet of the exhibit hall will be dedicated to the festival which annually occupies downtown streets and ballrooms.

Also on display in the Education Wing will be special activities led by contributing artists.

On the grounds outside the museum walls, “The Making of the Mirth” will allow guests to make their own Mardi Gras paraphernalia.

At “The Taste of Mardi Gras” venue, families can dine on such delicacies as funnel cakes and corn dogs.

In the “The Sound of Mardi Gras,” high school bands and brass instrumentalists will perform the music that normally accompanies the parades.

In “The Carnival Experience” venue, spectators can meet some of the creators who make floats come to life on the streets of the Gulf Coast. Families can see the many representing organizations and take photographs in the costume booth.

For more info go to www.MobileMuseumofArt.com.