Mardi Gras: party time in Snowmass |

Mardi Gras: party time in Snowmass

Madeleine OsbergerSnowmass Village correspondentAspen, CO Colorado
Things tend to get a little nuts in Snowmass on Fat Tuesday. (Aspen Times file)

SNOWMASS VILLAGE Mardi Gras, arguably the most popular holiday on the Snowmass calendar, comes early this year, on Tuesday, Feb. 5. In its 26th Snowmass go-round, the theme is Biggest Show on Snow.Its appropriate then that this years Mardi Gras king and queen are both Snowmass ski patrollers Susan Mouse Carollo and Steve Rausch will lead the always-spirited, often bawdy Fat Tuesday parade down the mall, starting at 4 p.m.Both say they were surprised to have been chosen for the royalty honors. Said Rausch, It kind of came out of nowhere while Corollo laughed and said, I have no idea why they chose me.Maybe heres why: Is there anyone in Snowmass who doesnt know Mouse, whose local tenure spans more years than shed probably care to admit? Rausch is also a veteran, having logged 15 years as a Snowmass ski area employee, including stints as a cat driver and a terrain park builder. Both enjoy much coveted year-round jobs on the mountain, working as bike rangers and performing some maintenance work during the non-snow seasons. And both say they love their jobs.Wonder where Carollo earned her nickname? When we played powder puff flag football here many years ago, my coach said I reminded him of Mighty Mouse. The name stuck.Despite his years in the valley, Rausch said hes constantly struck by the nice people in the Village and How friendly everybody is to each other. Its such a great place to go every day to work. Its like its not even work, he added.When asked what she thinks is the best thing about the Village, Mouse replied, The people and the mountains and everything you can do here. Its a really nice community.Full day on tapThe Biggest Show on Snow begins with the 16th annual Mother of All Ascensions Uphill at 7 a.m. Find a costume (or not) and join the throngs hoofing it uphill to High Alpine sporting skis, snowshoes or whatever foot-powered mode you prefer. Some 1,700 vertical feet later, a post-race party at High Alpine offers refreshments and the chance to win some $15,000 worth of prizes. Unlike some other uphill races, prizes in the Mother of All Ascensions are handed out for best and worst costumes and best and worst times.Pre-register for the event, which costs $35, at Christy Sports in Snowmass Village, the Ute Mountaineer in Aspen and Summit Canyon Mountaineering in Glenwood Springs. Included in the fee is a goody bag and long sleeve T-shirt.Download a race application off the website http://www.snowmassvillage.comAt about noon on Tuesday, several Snowmass restaurants will be offering Cajun cuisine, crawdad boils and hurricane drink specials. The day continues with the unveiling of a special King Cake on the mall, plus a Kids Carnival featuring face painters, stilt walkers and the like. If you dont already have your beads, try and snag some during the annual Bead Throw.Then its time for Snowmass Villages Mardi Gras parade at 4 p.m. Warning: Arrive early on the mall as coveted spectator spaces go quickly. Past Mardi Gras celebrations have attracted upward of 5,000 people.There youll discover a host of creative floats plus entertainment from the El Jebel Shriner Pipe & Drum Band, the Basalt Dance Troupe, jugglers, jokers and other costumed creatures determined to let it all hang loose in advance of Ash Wednesday. Still putting together a float? Keep in mind that the Snowmass Marketing & Special Events Department offers a $100 reimbursement toward float expenses (for more, go to Top prize for Best Float in the parade is $450.The parties move indoors to Snowmass watering holes once the parade

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