I knew something was different about my trip to Steamboat Springs this past weekend the moment I checked into our lodge. Before I got the room key I was handed an extensive itinerary for Steamboat’s Ski Mardi Gras festivities. I glanced over it nonchalantly and stuffed it into my purse without thinking twice. Well let me tell you something about Steamboat after spending 48 hours there, the weekend leading up to Fat Tuesday: Steamboat takes Mardi Gras very seriously.
Our adventure began Friday night. It was not much of a party for us, because we arrived around dinner time and had tunnel vision to grab a bite to eat before we called it a night to rest up for a big ski day. We got to the mountain on the early side and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Around 2pm I was ready to call it a day. I headed down to the Gondola Plaza solo, and I couldn’t see the plaza but I could hear it. Horns. Loud and vibrant horns were playing the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching.” I skied through some crowds and saw a parade. Before I could take my skis off I was thrown purple Mardi Gras beads. I, like most skiers and riders just heading in for the day, was caught off guard by men on stilts and the overwhelming purple, green and yellow themed outfits worn by all in the Ski Mardi Gras parade. After taking a moment to put on my beads I looked around and realized I was in a sea of people gathered to watch the parade. Some had beer in their hands while others seemed to be noshing on crawfish and corn.
Who knew that a ski town in Colorado fully embraced the New Orleans spirit of Mardi Gras? I certainly did not, but when it came time to the Saturday après ski entertainment after the parade I was glad to be a part of the Mardi Gras spirit. The entertainment, Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, is funk royalty. The show started at 3pm and as people trickled off the mountain the crowd started to expand and it looked as if the whole town of Steamboat Springs desended upon the Steamboat Ski Area’s Gondola Square stage wearing ski boots, ski gear and beers in hand. Click here to check out some video of Dumpstaphunk. The show lasted two hours and despite the chill the band put on a great show that I enjoyed along with my parents. It was fun for ALL!
To check out the rest of the Ski Mardi Gras festivities click here! There are still events going on and this is sure worth checking out in the future!
– Laura Daly, Marketing Team
** After my trip, Steamboat got a record breaking 27 inches in a 24-hour period! I can attest that it was quite the storm as I drove through it Sunday afternoon on my way back to Utah. I debated turning my car around to enjoy the “Champagne Powder” that Steamboat is famous for. Below are some epic photos of skiers skiing through the fresh 27 inches of pow!