Snowmass Village celebrates Mardi Gras on Tuesday
“Fifty strong and groovin’ on” is the theme of Snowmass’ annual Mardi Gras debauchery this year.
Fat Tuesday in the village will kick off bright and early with the 26th annual “Mother of All Ascensions” uphill race starting at 7 a.m. today.
The race will lead uphillers more than 2,000 feet in less than 2 miles, culminating at Gwyn’s High Alpine for a post-race celebration complete with a costume contest (outrageous Mardi Gras outfits encouraged) and an awards ceremony with more than $15,000 worth of prizes.
Beginning at 1 p.m., carnival festivities, including stilt walkers, face painters and performers, will take place on the Snowmass Mall.
The 2018 Mardi Gras king and queen — longtime Snowmass locals Karla and John Baker — also will be crowned at this time.
John, a Town of Snowmass employee for more than 35 years, is a road superintendent in the public works department.
Karla, who recently retired from her position after 25 years, worked at Snowmass Tourism as national group sales manager.
“We are honored to be this year’s Mardi Gras king and queen and could not think of a better year to participate,” Baker said in a statement from Snowmass Tourism. “We are ready for the party, so ‘Let the good times roll!’”
From 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., El Jebel’s Shrine Pipe Band and the Otone Brass Band of Denver will parade and perform funk, Latin and soul beats along the Snowmass Mall. The annual bead toss — with more than 20,000 beads to be distributed — also will kick off at 3 p.m.
At 5 p.m., a Mardi Gras-meets-Ullr night party will commence at Elk Camp Restaurant. Cajun-style food and hurricane drink specials will be available and live music will last until 9 p.m. Fireworks will take place over Fanny Hill at 7 p.m.
A number of restaurants on and off the slopes in Snowmass also will offer Mardi Gras specials today.
For a complete list of Mardi Gras restaurant specials and schedule of events, visit http://www.gosnowmass.com.
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Snowmass Ski Area tested its first five chairlifts in 1967, just before opening day.