Asheville Mardis Gras announces 2018 theme

Press release:

Let Them Eat Cake
Asheville Mardis Gras Announces Twelfth Night/Theme For 2018 Season

In the darkest depths of winter, if you listen closely, you just might hear the sounds from what can only be described as a wild rumpus emanating from Grove Street in downtown Asheville. Follow those sounds through the frigid air, climb the stairs, knock twice on the door separating you from the frivolity (or really just come on in), and you’ll find yourself surrounded by festooned revelers, tippling, dancing and strangest of all – eating cake. You’ll find yourself at Asheville Mardis Gras’ annual Twelfth Night celebration.

As the official start to Mardis Gras season around the world, Twelfth Night traditionally marks the date when the Magi – or three wise men – showed up at the manger of one very important baby, bearing shiny and fragrant gifts.

In the world of Asheville Mardis Gras, Twelfth Night, celebrated on Jan. 6th, begins a season filled with festivities culminating in the annual Parade, which is on track to be held on February 11, 2018.

During the Twelfth Night celebration itself, music will be spinning, a photo booth will be set up, and an open bar will be pouring libations. The pinnacle of the event, held from 7-11PM on January 6th at Club 11 On Grove, is when Asheville Mardis Gras members take a slice of “King” cake hoping to have been given the prized piece – a slice with the a tiny plastic baby baked inside. Whoever gets the baby in his or her slice will pick a royal consort, and the two will lead the Asheville Mardi Gras Parade as newly crowned royalty!

Speaking of the parade, the official theme for the 2018 promenade, “AsheVillage People,” was revealed earlier this year at a member’s picnic at Ole Shakey’s bar down by the river.

“Not only does our theme give a nod to the fact that we are an inclusive city and an inclusive organization,” said Asheville Mardis Gras executive committee chair Hobbit Hawes, “but in a year that’s seen a lot of division, we chose this theme to show our commitment to unity. Lots of different people can live in a village and have varied opinions and different approaches to life, but in the end, they all work together to keep the village thriving. And with 11 years under our belt, Asheville Mardis is certainly thriving!”

Each year, Asheville Mardis Gras picks a theme that gives direction to the big parade that’s held in February. Last year’s theme, for example, was “X,” chosen because it was the group’s ten-year anniversary. Other themes have included: Wild At Heart (2010); Royal Wedding (2012); French Broads and Odd Fellows (2013); and Saints Vs Sinners (2016). While the theme gives a general shape to the parade, participants are always welcome to either riff off that theme or do something completely different.

Between Twelfth Night and the Parade, there will be plenty of revelry, especially at the annual Cajun Cookoff, which will see local chefs dish up their best takes on cajun cuisine during a music-filled contest and fundraiser. AMG is also still working out the nitty gritty for this event, scheduled for January 21st, with more details coming soon.

This will be the 11th year for the parade.

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact: AMG Communications Director, Michael Franco at 914-410-6605 or

About Asheville Mardis Gras

Asheville Mardi Gras is a social aid and pleasure club as well as an arts and culture group. Our purpose is to strengthen Western North Carolina’s community connections through promoting creativity, frivolity and celebration, based on the traditions of Mardi Gras. For more information on becoming a member and all AMG events, check us out at or join our groups page on Facebook. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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