Vail’s Mardi Gras deemed a success, said organizers |

Vail’s Mardi Gras deemed a success, said organizers

Daily Staff Report

VAIL – Vail’s Mardi Gras came to a close with the Fat Tuesday celebration in town. Tourists and locals joined together on Gore Creek Drive and Bridge Street to collect beads, witness the parade and celebrate “Fat Tuesday” late into the evening. “Vail’s Mardi Gras celebration is a great success thanks to the many local businesses who participate,” said Christian Knapp, senior marketing manager at Vail Mountain. “The event provides an opportunity for locals and guests to get out and have some fun and it’s great to see all of the costumes and sample the Gumbo. We’re look forward to next year already.”The event was celebrated in Vail for the second year and has grown to be one of largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the mountains. The weekend began on Saturday, Feb. 5, with the opening street party in Lionshead. Guests enjoyed live music and drink and food specials in participating restaurants. Lil’ Brian and the Zydeco Travelers entertained the masses with their authentic Cajun sound at the Lions Den. Lions Den management believe the event is a tremendous success making it their biggest day of the season. On Sunday, the festivities continued with the “World’s Highest Low Country Crawfish Boil” at Eagles Nest on Vail Mountain. Lil’ Brian entertained guests who consumed 500 pounds of crawfish and 50 gallons of Gumbo. The party continued into Monday with the Gumbo Cook-Off where seven local restaurants competed for bragging rights for the best Gumbo in Vail. After a stiff day of competition, the ballots were tallied and Montauk Seafood Grill was crowned the winner. Other restaurants competing included the Flying Burrito, Moe’s Original BBQ, the Marriot Mountain Grille, Vendetta’s, the Red Lion and the Tap Room/Sanctuary. On Fat Tuesday, thousands joined in Vail Village to watch the Mardi Gras parade, witness the unveiling of the King and Queen and compete for a trip to Las Vegas. Much to the delight of the crowd, longtime local Packy Walker and Vail Paralympian and Colorado Ski Hall of Fame member Sarah Will were crowned the king and queen of the parade. At the conclusion of the parade, Sarah and Packy awarded the National Brotherhood of Skiers as the best “Krewe.”Festival organizers also took the opportunity to present a special award to the local business that showed the most support for Vail’s Mardi Gras. The Flying Burrito took this years top honors with their amazing decorations and enthusiasm throughout the four-day event. As a reward, they will receive four round trip tickets to New Orleans for the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival April 22May 1.Vail Colorado

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