Vail will celebrate one of the world’s most fascinating cities when CarniVail returns, February 6-9, 2016. Experience New Orleans from 8,150 ft. with a variety of events at various locations throughout Vail Village, complete with the Fat Tuesday Parade and Street Festival.
The fun begins with an on-mountain crawfish boil at Eagle’s Nest on Saturday, February 6 from 12-2:30 p.m. The menu features a delicious combo plate with crawfish, sausage, corn, new potatoes, gumbo and king cake. Guests will enjoy live entertainment, and hurricanes andbeer specials will be flowing.
On Sunday, stop by Mid-Vail to enjoy New Orleans style gumbo, jambalaya and beignets. The highlight of the Mardi Gras celebration will be the Fat Tuesday Parade and Bud Light Street Party in Vail Village on Tuesday, February 9. The venue opens at 3 p.m., with the parade starting at 4 p.m., followed by a by a free concert by MarchFourth! Marching Band at Solaris Plaza.
The parade will travel from Meadow Drive at Solaris, up International Bridge and east on Gore Creek Drive. It will exit out from Vail Village near Gorsuch on Gore Creek Drive and will conclude with the official crowning of the CarniVail King and Queen and announcement of the Float Competition winner at the concert stage, prior to MarchForth! Marching Band taking the stage. Locals and guests are encouraged to dress up in Mardi Gras apparel and beads and partake in all the CarniVail fun.
For the complete schedule of events, or to register for the parade, visit http://www.vail.com/events/carnivail.aspx#/Registration.
A Brief History of Mardi Gras in America
Mardi Gras was introduced to America from Paris, where is has been celebrated since the Middle Ages. On March 3, 1699, French explorers, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, set up camp 60 miles south of present-day New Orleans. Knowing the holiday was currently being celebrated in France, the men held an inaugural celebration, appropriately named Point du Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras specifically refers to the Tuesday before Lent, and is also known as Fat Tuesday. The celebration may occur on any Tuesday from February 3 to March 9, and is always scheduled 47 days preceding Easter, to include the 40 days of Lent, plus seven Sundays. Popular traditions during Mardi Gras include wearing masks and costumes, dancing, formal balls, parades and, of course, beads.