Asheville’s Mardi Gras kickoff

Got the post-holiday blues? Not to worry: Asheville’s Mardi Gras parade, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 5, is just a little more than a month away, and in the meantime, there’s 12th Night.

This Sunday, Jan. 6, the Mystic Mountain Krewe — Asheville’s Mardi Gras parade organizers — will host a free 12th Night celebration beginning at Jack of the Wood pub and migrating, via a complimentary LaZoom Bus ride, to Scully’s, the Joli Rouge and the Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company on Coxe Avebnue. If you show up at Jack of the Wood for a piece of king cake, you might just win the title of Mardi Gras King or Queen.

Nothing like festive costumes, cake, booze and a free whirl on a big purple bus to brighten the spririts. More information is in this week’s Smart Bets.

Sarah Widenhouse, who was director for the Asheville Holiday Parade, is also organizing the Feb. 5 event. Her husband, Jay Widenhouse, is a member of the Firecracker Jazz Band, which will perform in the parade. “This is going to be the first year we’ve had a permitted [Mardi Gras] parade in the street,” she tells Xpress.

The dress theme for the parade and the 12th Night event, Widenhouse adds, is “flash, class or trash.”

— Rebecca Bowe, contributing editor

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6 thoughts on “Asheville’s Mardi Gras kickoff

  1. Anyone know what time the parade will happen on Feb 5?

    I’d really like to make time to be a part of Asheville’s first Mardi Gras street parade…

  2. Wallace Shealy

    @JBo Come Sunday 1/6 6-9pm to find the details and get involved!

    I spent time in Shreveport, LA (which has great family friendly Mardi Gras) and am looking forward to Asheville getting into the spirit!

  3. ronnie els

    has a time been set for the parade? i am from south louisiana and couldn’t in good conscious miss a mardi gras parade.

  4. Jon Elliston

    Hi Ronnie els:

    Here’s a press release from the organizers, with all the relevant details.

    Jon Elliston
    Managing Editor

    _____________________________________

    The Mystic Mountain Krewe presents Asheville’s first annual downtown Mardi Gras Parade on Fat Tuesday, February 5, starting at 5:32 pm.

    Winter traditions celebrated for millennia the world over welcome the gods, goddesses and tricksters overseeing elemental, indestructible life in order to participate in life’s fertility returning in the spring. Expect revelry, zany creativity and exuberant self-expression in the New Orleans tradition, but with Asheville’s unique twist.

    Mystic Mountain Krewe dedicates this new, local event to our Katrina refugees. We’d like to envision this parade growing into a popular annual event reflective of Asheville’s fabulous creativity and diversity.

    Asheville ain’t Bourban Street, however. We ask spectators to leave the alcohol at home, and keep behavior appropriate to a family friendly event.

    ROUTE
    The parade departs from the Joli Rouge (College and N. Spruce) proceeding down Walnut, then left onto Lexington, right onto college, and culminating at Pritchard Park with a short performance by UniFire Dance Theater and the Firecracker Jazz Band.

    Families are welcome, be ready to catch beads!
    Landmarks: Joli Rouge, Mellow Mushroom, Scully’s, Old Europe, BoBo’s, and of course, Pritchard Park

    To participate in the parade, email mysticmtkrewe@gmail.com

    For more information, see Mystic Mountain Krewe’s website http://myspace.com/mysticmountainkrewe
    Or contact the Costume Shoppe, 252-8404, 243 Haywood Street

  5. travelah

    Winter traditions celebrated for millennia the world over welcome the gods, goddesses and tricksters overseeing elemental, indestructible life in order to participate in life’s fertility returning in the spring. Expect revelry, zany creativity and exuberant self-expression in the New Orleans tradition, but with Asheville’s unique twist.

    Ha! Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is a Catholic tradition preceding Lent. It has nothing to do with Pagan winter festivals. But in any event, I hope to takes off. I just spent a decade in south Louisiana and this is my first Mardi Gras season away from the festivities. Who is selling the king cakes?

  6. Gordon Smith

    So. Much. Fun.

    That night after the parade you can come on down to the Asheville Brewing Company, where Pizza! Beer! Obama! and Drinking Liberally will be coming together to catch the primary results from 21 states across the nation. They’re calling it super duper Tuesday.

    Mardi Gras and this on the same night? We’d all better take Wednesday off work.

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