Skip the trip to New Orleans this year, and celebrate Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday in ski country. Curbed Ski has done the research for you and uncovered the five best Mardi Gras parties on the mountain this year. Some of these celebrations even have their genesis in Louisianans fleeing the crowds of New Orleans for the high country. So take our advice, get more days on the mountain and enjoy Mardi Gras celebrations with some mountain-town flair.
1. Snowmass Village Snowmass goes all in on Fat Tuesday. It starts with a 7 a.m. uphill race humbly called The Mother of All Ascensions, which climbs 2,073 vertical feet to the High Alpine Restaurant. Tired legs get a short break until activities ramp up in the afternoon with a bead toss, parade, street performers and live music. Fireworks top off the party, but the revelry (we're told) continues well into the night. More info, here.
2. Red River, NM The northern New Mexico ski town of Red River goes for the immersive, week-long experience with its Mardi Gras in the Mountains festival. It's no secret the resort caters to Southerners, and from Thursday to Fat Tuesday, the town attracts a large number of Louisianans for its parade, parties, contests and the Burning of the Wild Tchoupitoulas. The celebration kicks off with the Burning of the Wild Tchoupitoulas, named after a traditional group of Mardi Gras Indians from New Orleans' own celebration, in this event revelers can stuff their problems and worries into an effigy that's burned at the end of a parade down the town's main street. The rest of the week is filled with parties, balls and other events put on by the local krewes (another nod to Mardi Gras tradition). Visitors can attend all the events, join a krewe or bring their own krewe. More details, this way.
3. Steamboat Ski Resort The celebration at the base of Steamboat Ski Resort stretches from the Thursday before to Fat Tuesday but really heats up during the weekend between. On Saturday, the Mardi Gras parade marches through the Mountain Village area and is followed by a party and crawfish boil (complete with street performers and face painting) at Gondola Square. A free concert, torchlight parade and a fireworks show over the mountain wrap up the day's celebration. The rest of the week is filled with Cajun-themed dining, happy hour and après specials. All the details, over here.
4. Breckenridge Breckenridge has a tradition of Mardi Gras celebrations, and this year is no exception with a Fat Tuesday Street Party planned for Feb. 17. The town's Main Street will be packed with partiers, fire dancers and larger-than-life street puppets in addition to a concert by Chris Daniels and the Kings. On the mountain, you'll see packs of people dressed up in funky ski outfits, complete with beads. This is a don't miss. More details, this way.
5. Lake Tahoe We're going to cheat here with a split recommendation. Northstar California Resort will have family-friendly activities, with Mardi Gras mask face painting all weekend and a scavenger hunt Fat Tuesday. The more refined adult crowd will enjoy the five-course, New Orleans-themed whiskey dinner at Northstar's Tavern 6330' on Fat Tuesday, while those looking for dancing and tinnitus should head to Mardi Squaw at Squaw Valley on Feb. 14.
Did we miss your favorite celebration here? Let us know why yours should be included.
· Mapping the 25 Best Après-Ski Spots in North America [Curbed Ski]
· Mapping 27 Ski Country Cocktail Spots to Get Your Drink On [Curbed Ski]
· $150K Mobile Whiskey Trailer Seeks Epic Ski Parking Lot Party [Curbed Ski]
· Rounding-Up the 11 Best Ski Towns for the Holidays [Curbed Ski]