Mardi Gras festival kicks off in Steamboat Springs |

Mardi Gras festival kicks off in Steamboat Springs

Coming all the way from the East Coast, the 11-piece No BS! Brass Band will bring a New Orleans "Richmond sound" to Steamboat Springs this weekend for the annual Mardi Gras Festival.
Courtesy Photo

— Mardi Gras is a festival recognized around the world — represented by colorful beads, masks, parades and a lot of dancing, music and food.

And in Steamboat Springs, the holiday is celebrated with its own local traditions.

The Steamboat Mardi Gras Festival begins Friday night and continues through Tuesday featuring a parade starting in the base of Steamboat Ski Area and ending with a free concert, a Cajun barbecue, a snow sculpture contest and plenty of beads to go around.

The event, hosted by the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., started four years ago.

“I love the parade,” said Loryn Kasten, public relations manager for Ski Corp. “It’s fun to not only see all of the bright colors and face painting but how much people are into the Mardi Gras spirit.”

The parade will start at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Ski Time Square and travel throughout Mountain Village. Kasten said costumes are definitely encouraged and prizes will be awarded for the best costume.

There will also be face painters and street performers in Gondola Square Saturday afternoon.

Continuing the celebration, No BS! Brass Band from Richmond, Virginia, will be in Steamboat Springs for the first time. The 11-piece brass band embraces the spirit of New Orleans with its original take of East Coast modern funk.

“It’s a labor of love for us,” said Reggie Pace, one of the band’s founders. “We are always in active pursuit of pushing forward.”

With five full-length records, the band has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and the Festival of New Trumpet Music. They also were on National Public Radio’s Tiny Desk Concert series.

“We will definitely be bringing the New Orleans heat for this concert,” Pace said.

Schedule for the Steamboat Mardi Gras Festival:


2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Bourbon Street Après Ski at the Bear River with Sing-Along Piano Bar Duo


11:30 a.m. Free face painting in Gondola Square

1:30 p.m. Steamboat Mardi Gras Parade from Ski Time Square into Gondola Square with prizes for best costumes

1:30 to 4 p.m. Mardi Gras Party and Cajun Crawfish Boil in Gondola Square, carnival style with face painters and street performers

3 p.m. Bud Light Rocks the Boat free concert with No BS! Brass Band

7 p.m. Torchlight parade and fireworks


5 p.m. Creole dinner specials at Hazie’s (reservations required)

Monday (Lundi Gras)

3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Lundi Gras Après Ski at the Bear River with Cajun country music from SunDog (Bear River will serve cajun barbecue and Southern Comfort Hurricanes).

Tuesday (Mardi Gras)

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour the snow sculpture contest entries at each Steamboat Ski Area chairlift

3:30 to 6 p.m. Cajun food specials at The Cabin and Bear River.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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