Creole for the Soul: Snowmass celebrates Mardi Gras today |

Creole for the Soul: Snowmass celebrates Mardi Gras today

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
A facepainter decorates a child's face at Snowmass' annual Mardi Gras celebration.
Snowmass Tourism/Courtesy Photo |

On Mardi Gras each year, Snowmass Village bleeds purple, green and gold.

It makes sense, as the town’s Mardi Gras roots run deep, with a 35-year-old history that started with a few New Orleans locals.

The NOLA natives visited Snowmass to “escape the craziness” of their hometown debauchery, according to Snowmass Tourism Director Rose Abello.

“They still wanted to celebrate the holiday, but in their own way, here,” Abello said. “Every year we still get a group of people from New Orleans who participate in the parade and the revelry.”

What’s also special about Snowmass’ Mardi Gras event is the mix of both international visitors and valley locals that it draws.

“We have quite a few domestic guests as well as international guests” in Snowmass around Mardi Gras each year, Abello said, and in particular, “quite a few Brazilians.”

“However, Mardi Gras isn’t just for guests,” she said. “Snowmass employees, locals and guests all attend the celebration.”

Altogether, Abello estimated that more than 1,500 people participate in the event each year, adding that folks from Aspen and downvalley also venture to the village to celebrate.

“The Mardi Gras celebration is famous in the valley,” Abello said. “And folks want to be a part of it.”


7 a.m.: Mother of All Ascensions 25th anniversary uphill race. Competitors meet at Snowmass Base Village Plaza for a 7 a.m. start with snowshoes, stabilizers, track or telemark skis. The race ends at Gwyn’s High Alpine Restaurant with a special breakfast for participants. Tickets are $40.

11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Mardi Gras party at Elk Camp restaurant: DJ Tenza of Aspen DJs will provide the entertainment along with 50-piece jazz band The Basalt StreetHorns. Costume-clad attendees will be eligible for prizes.

2 to 3:30 p.m.: Face-painters and performers on Snowmass Mall.

3 to 3:15 p.m.: Ski parade down Adams Avenue: Sport your best Mardi Gras costume and join the jazz band in a ski parade down Adams Avenue from Elk Camp Restaurant to the Snowmass Mall. Skiers and snowboarders of all levels are welcome to participate.

3 to 4 p.m.: Bead toss on Snowmass Mall. More than 30,000 beads will be tossed this year.

4 p.m.: Mardi Gras parade on Snowmass Mall. The parade will start by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority stop and loop through the mall.

7:30 p.m.: Fireworks over Fanny Hill.