Fat Tuesday bulges with beads in Snowmass Village during annual Mardi Gras celebration
The weather was perfect for a Mardi Gras celebration: The sun was out, the sky was blue, and it was raining green, gold, and purple beads.
The Snowmass Mardi Gras king and queen paraded around Snowmass Mall and Base Village, handing out beads to anyone and everyone. Adorned with purple capes and extravagant crowns, King and Queen Brian and Sherrill Olson were smiling as they kicked off the annual Mardi Gras festivities in Snowmass.
Snowmass has always gone big for Mardi Gras, and the 41st year of festivities was no exception. The day kicked off with DJ Romy spinning festive tunes while children’s activities like facepainting and bubbles took place at Snowmass Mall. The Olsons made their way down to Base Village, where they walked around, passing out beads to skiers and riders getting off the mountain.
In an interview with The Aspen Times last week, Sherrill said her favorite Mardi Gras memory was watching her son try to catch and collect as many beads as he could, which might be why she took the extra time to hand out as many beads to the ski school kids as possible.
“It’s something that’s been a tradition for Snowmass for as long as I can remember, and just being outside with friends and the community and getting to celebrate, it’s something that is fun for us all,” she said.
Sherrill has lived in Snowmass for over 30 years and Brian for over 40. He began working at the police department in 1987 and now serves as the police chief. She serves as the assistant general manager at the Top of the Village Condominiums.
The Olsons have participated in Snowmass Mardi Gras for as long as Sherrill could remember and was surprised to be chosen as royalty. The smiles on their faces were bright as they threw the beads into the crowds from the stage at Base Village.
Just when you thought you couldn’t get enough beads, the Art of Air stilt walker came out with even more green, purple, and gold beads to hand out as they maneuvered around the crowds on stilts. Jugglers also roved the village, impressing onlookers with their skills.
The festivities came to a close with a performance from SNACKTIME, a soul and R&B band from Philadelphia. The seven-piece brass band played tunes as children scavenged for whatever remaining beads they could find.
Although the majority of Mardi Gras festivities concluded with SNACKTIME’s performance, the Mother of All Ascensions Uphill Race is still going on. The 31st annual race is still in a virtual format as it has been for the past two years, meaning participants may complete the route from Snowmass Base Village to High Alpine any time between Feb. 21 and Feb. 26. Registration is open until the event ends at 5 p.m. on Feb. 26. Participants can use snowshoes, alpine touring gear, stabilizers, or split boards to complete the 2,073 foot elevation gain course in one go.
To reach Audrey Ryan, email her at email@example.com.