The Mystic Mountain Krewe, a “multibunch of fun-loving folk,” according to one member, has invited everyone to “strut with us” in the upcoming Asheville Mardi Gras Parade. Scheduled for (Fat) Tuesday, Feb. 5, it will be the first-ever permitted parade to flood the city’s streets in honor of Mardi Gras. Several weeks ago, the same group hosted an event to celebrate 12th Night—the kickoff of the Mardi Gras season—which swept a rowdy bunch of feathered and costumed folk from one downtown Asheville bar to the next via the purple LaZoom tour bus.
“We were just trying to warm people up,” explains Krewe member and New Orleans native Frank Douglass.
The Mardi Gras parade will start around 5:30 p.m., but participants are encouraged to meet at 5 p.m. at the Joli Rouge on College Street for a street lineup. What should you wear? “This year’s theme,” according to a purple flyer, “is Flash, Class or Trash.” That’s a fun way of saying anything goes, according to Douglass.
“Everybody’s welcome,” he adds. “It’s just a big street party for everyone.” The parade will end at Pritchard Park, with live performances by the Firecracker Jazz Band and Unifire, a fire-spinning performance troop.
The Mystic Mountain Krewe won second place for their float in the recent Holiday Parade, and they’ve been using the prize money to pull this event together. However, they haven’t managed to convince the city of Asheville to allow drinking in the streets, notes Douglass. “And they call this a liberal town,” he jokes. Nor will the city allow parade participants to throw Mardi Gras beads—but they are free to walk up to people to dole them out.
Come with drums, masks, outrageous costumes or just a feather tucked behind the ear—and get ready for New Orleans-style festivities.