Breckenridge goes to the beads on this Mardi Gras |

Breckenridge goes to the beads on this Mardi Gras

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

Breckenridge just keeps going bigger with its beaded Mardi Gras celebration.In addition to kicking the party off with the third annual Bacchus Ball at 6 p.m. Saturday at Beaver Run Resort, Breck will host a free concert by New Orleans famed Dirty Dozen Brass Band at 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Riverwalk Center and a Main Street parade at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.We really wanted to make Breckenridges Mardi Gras celebration a big deal this year, said Sally Croker, events director of the Breckenridge Resort Chamber. The event has been building over the last couple of years, and this was a big growth spurt in 2009. The Bacchus Ball has grown. The Mardi Gras procession has evolved into a full-on parade, and then we got word that the Dirty Dozen Brass Band was coming to Colorado.The Bacchus Ball is the perfect excuse to slip into an outrageous costume (and, by outrageous Summit County standards, we know that may just mean wearing a bright tie or donning a skirt, but we dare you to go all out and add some sparkle and shine to your attire). Even if your closet doesnt accommodate a Mardi Gras masquerade party, beads, boas and masks will be sold at the event. Chris Daniels and the Kings will rock the night with its funky blues. The band is known for its rich horn sounds and has been heavily influenced by Blood, Sweat & Tears, Booker T. and the Memphis Horns and Tower of Power. As Daniels points out, hes not related to Charlie or Jack, so hes had to bust his butt to make a name for himself playing guitar and that he has, touring 46 weeks a year worldwide.In addition to the tunes, there will be a southern influx of hurricanes, Nawlins food, king cakes, prizes and the crowning of this years Rex and Queen. Tickets are $35, or $65 per couple.As part of the celebration, guests can lend a helping hand to neighbors in need by bringing a non-perishable food item to the ball and bidding on silent-auction items, the proceeds of which will benefit the Summit County Food Bank, operated by the Family Intercultural Resource Cente

On Fat Tuesday, Brecks Main Street turns into a virtual Bourbon Street with the only parade in Summit County. (OK, we admit you may have to drink a whole lot of bourbon to really feel the heat and imagine the voluptuous skin yes, there are other words to refer to those commonly exposed body parts, but this is a family paper and soulful jazz pouring out of bars like they do in New Orleans. But the upside of Brecks Main Street celebration: The streets wont smell like urine and other nasty human waste. Gross, but true.)Beads will be flying, as floats compete for a $500 first-place prize, a $300 second-place prize and a $200 third-place prize. After the parade, Main Street bars and restaurants come alive with drink specials, music and more. Laissez les bon temps roulez!

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