Summit County celebrates Mardi Gras |

Summit County celebrates Mardi Gras

CAITLIN ROWsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Illustration/Jason Smith

KEYSTONE Mardi Gras enthusiasts: Put on your mask and beads, but dont even think about flashing your flesh. The Keystone Neighbourhood Company is hosting its 11th annual, family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration on Tuesday, featuring kids activities, live music, a gumbo competition, bead sales and its first ever kids bike and costume parade. Childrens activities and admission is free.We expect a great mix of both locals and visitors, said Katie Adamson, Keystone Resorts media contact. Its a good, free way to entertain kids and families. … Were trying to make it a celebration that everyone can participate in.The kids bike parade is a new event that kicks off the festivities at noon. Youth up to 13-years-old can decorate their bicycles, tricycles, scooters or sneakers at the Silvermill Courtyard in River Run. Other kids activities include bounce houses, face painting and Mardi Gras crafts. Live music, a gumbo competition and street performers follow the childrens parade at 2 p.m.Louisiana native Curley Taylor is scheduled to play a free concert of zydeco music at River Run all afternoon. Hurricane-rum drinks are available for purchase.Two prizes will be awarded in the gumbo competition: Best Gumbo and Peoples Choice. There is no entry fee to participate in the competition, and the grand prize is $500. Entry details are available on the event website. Everyone from restaurants to your grandmother are encouraged to enter, Adamson said.Wristbands are sold to guests for $10, and proceeds benefit the Snake River Community Association an organization committed to making the Snake River Basin a great place to live, work and play.Mardi Gras celebrations will continue into the night at the bars and restaurants in River Run. For more information, visit Row can be reached at (970) 668-4633 or at

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 the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (see related story) 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 Breckenridge’s 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 doesn’t 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, he’s not related to Charlie or Jack, so he’s 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, they’ll be a southern influx of hurricanes, N’awlins food, king cakes, prizes and the crowing of this year’s Rex and Queen. Tickets are $35, or $65 per couple.In addition to partying, 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 Center.Fat TuesdayOn Fat Tuesday, Breck’s 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 Breck’s Main Street celebration: The streets won’t smell like urine and other nasty human waste. Gross, but true.)Beads will be flying as floats compete for a $500 first-place prize, $300 second-place prize and $200 third-place prize. After the parade, Main Street bars and restaurants come alive with drink specials, music and more (see the calendar and ads throughout the Daily for details).Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

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