Though Summit County is situated thousands of feet above sea level, the High Country will be throwing down New Orleans-style parties over the next week in honor of Mardi Gras. Join the carnival of chaos at one of these local events.
River Run Village transforms into The Big Easy
River Run Village at Keystone will host a Mardi Gras Party on Tuesday, March 4, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Fat Tuesday in Keystone is fit for all ages and includes free live music, giant games, a cash bar and Summit County’s best gumbo and beignets prepared by local chefs inspired by the official cuisine of the great state of Louisiana.
Whether you prefer Cajun or Creole style, you surely won’t go hungry, as restaurants from Keystone and beyond put their pride on the line and whip up their best batches of gumbo to be judged in both the professional and people’s choice categories. A cash prize of $500 is up for grabs for first place in the pro division, and the people’s choice trophy gives a lucky chef bragging rights for a year. Unlimited gumbo tasting bracelets are $10 and available at the event.
It wouldn’t be a Mardi Gras party without some tunes. Local favorite Funky Johnson will take the stage at 3:30 p.m. This high-energy, Summit County-based band will be delivering the funk while the partygoers dance away or kick back with a hurricane from the bar.
The Keystone Mardi Gras Party combines food and music into one grand Fat Tuesday celebration while doing its part to bring a little Southern hospitality to the mountains. Free parking is available at the River Run Lots located off Highway 6 on Gondola Road.
A portion of the proceeds from the day will benefit the Snake River Community Association. Visit www.keystoneneighbourhood.com for more information.
Hazel Miller performs at Breckenridge Mardi Gras Ball
Some 15 years ago, a tight-knit group of New Orleanians decided to trade Mardi Gras crowds for skiing and sunshine in Breckenridge. It wasn’t long before they realized they couldn’t do without hometown traditions, but since the group loved Breckenridge too much to leave, they brought a little bit of NOLA to 9,600 feet.
The town of Breckenridge continues to observe carnival season in the mountains. Featuring a Mardi Gras Ball with Denver-based soul singer Hazel Miller and a street parade, Breckenridge’s family-friendly celebration this year mixes New Orleans style with mountain-town fun.
On Saturday, March 1, Hazel Miller’s soulful vocals provide the backdrop to the mountain-formal Mardi Gras Ball at Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center. From snow boots to sequined gowns, anything goes for guests sampling the New Orleans-style cuisine. The masquerade ball, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m., will also feature the crowing of the Mardi Gras Rex and Queen.
The dinner menu includes fresh, live Louisiana crayfish; captain hushpuppies with remoulade sauce; Atchafalaya shrimp po-boy on baguette; New Orleans black beans and rice; fried green tomatoes; eggplant etouffee; blackened Louisiana drum fish with crayfish sauce; stuffed pork with Tasso spinach and goat cheese; and New Orleans beignets and bananas foster for dessert.
Get into the carnival spirit with costumes, beads and masks, which will be sold at the event. Tickets are $60 per person, or purchase a table of 10 for $500, which includes food and a cash bar. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online or at the Breckenridge Welcome Center, 203 S. Main St.
Summit County’s only Mardi Gras parade begins at 4:30 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, March 4. Free float registration is now open if you want to be part of the action, or hang out on Main Street to see floats and colorful characters handing out trinkets to the crowd. Post-parade parties will be held at restaurants and bars around town, with drink specials, music and more.
For more information on the Breckenridge Mardi Gras celebration, visit www.gobreck.com.
Seafood boil at T-Bar Restaurant at Peak 8
The T-Bar Restaurant on Peak 8 at Breckenridge Ski Resort will host a seafood boil each day from Friday, Feb. 28, through Wednesday, March 6.
Choose from Maine red lobster, head-on shrimp, Louisiana whole crawfish, Dungeness crab clusters, mussels or a whole boiled artichoke prepared in one of three chef’s flavors: zesty Cajun lime, French Creole seasoning or spicy Thai mix. Add a full size or mix-up, including smoked Andouille sausage, oven-roasted red potatoes or fire-grilled corn on the cob. T-Bar also will be serving up Mardi Gras-theme cocktails, including hurricanes, mint juleps, Bourbon Street mules and dark and stormys for $8 each or Cajun Bloody Marys for $13.
On Tuesday, March 4, T-Bar and Sevens will celebrate Fat Tuesday with a Mardi Gras Barefoot wine event from 2 to 5 p.m., with the Barefoot Refresh photo booth and Barefoot giveaways and drink recipes.
For a full menu of Big Easy offerings at Breckenridge resort, visit www.breckenridge.com.
Mardipaws parade on Main Street in Frisco
The Mardipaws Barkus Parade, inspired by the Bacchus Parade in New Orleans, comes to Frisco on Saturday, March 1, with its own version for our four-legged friends. The League for Animals & People of the Summit and The Lost Cajun Restaurant, located at 204 Main St., Frisco, are combining forces to create a costume parade for dogs and their families. The parade will travel from Second Street, down to Seventh along the sidewalk and back up the other side of the street for a full viewing of the colorful canines and their entourage.
Prizes will be awarded for dogs in costumes only, for a King and Queen along with a full court of winners. There will also be specialty categories, including a “Best in Pink Pooch” and “Belinda’s Pink Wild Card” to highlight those who either did the Romp to Stomp or who just want to support finding a cure for breast cancer. The parade, judging, games and refreshments will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Event day registration starts at 2 p.m.
Visit http://summitlaps.com for more information.