Mardi Gras comes to Snowmass Mountain | VailDaily.com
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Mardi Gras comes to Snowmass Mountain

Daily Staff Report

SNOWMASS – Each Fat Tuesday, Snowmass Village turns purple, green, and gold with a decades-old Mardi Gras festival inspired by New Orleans natives themselves. From family fun to adult revelry, Snowmass has celebrated Mardi Gras since the early 1980s when New Orleans natives decided to escape the crowds in their own hometown and go skiing instead. While the crowds were left behind, the Mardi Gras spirit came along in the form of beads gifted to the locals – and a Mardi Gras tradition was born. The theme of this year’s Mardi Gras is “Bead There,” and the festivities include a raucous parade with floats, marching bands and clowns, a bead throw, King Cake giveaways, kids’ activities such as mask-making, a crawdad boil, live music and costumes everywhere. “Over 20,000 beads will be thrown into the crowds,” said Jacqie Stewart, master of ceremonies. “This festival is fun for everyone. Even people from New Orleans come to Snowmass for our Mardi Gras festival. We have so much going on with such a great atmosphere and there’s something for everyone whether you’re a child or an adult.” In addition to these traditional Mardi Gras activities and wild revelry, visitors to Snowmass during the course of this week can partake in less traditional events as well. A challenging race up 1,741 feet in altitude with $10,000 in prizes kicks off Mardi Gras. Chinese fireworks to celebrate the Chinese New Year will take place on Thursday, while Bud Light Big Air on Friday pits local and nationally-renowned athletes against a 40-foot ski jump in an afternoon of competition, which includes music, crowds and more fireworks. The Colorado Freeride Series on Saturday offers an opportunity to watch some of the world’s best extreme skiers and boarders launch off Snowmass’ famed cliffs and snowfields during this championship FISA extreme freeride competition. For a detailed schedule of events, visit http://www.snowmasspress.com/mardigras or call Allison Johnson at 704-9988 or aj@snowmasspress.com.Vail Colorado


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