The best Mardi Gras party this side of the bayou is in Northern Mexico as the town of Red River hosts its legendary Mardi Gras In The Mountains festival, Feb. 12-17. Arrive early and stay late to catch all the parades, crawfish boils, costume balls, and, of course, beads! There’s so much for revelers of all ages to see and do as the community buzzes with excitement throughout the extended weekend leading up to Fat Tuesday.
Located along New Mexico’s Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, a 45-minute drive from Taos, Red River offers great, family-friendly skiing and snowboarding, as well as tubing, snow coach dinner tours, and more. However, Mardi Gras In The Mountains is one event that keeps visitors from near and far coming back to Red River each year to relive the fun.
We love the electricity that Mardi Gras in the Mountains brings to Red River,” said Red River Tourism Director Jacqueline Hester. “We add some Cajun flavor to what’s already a great getaway destination and make this one of the most exciting weeks of the year in Red River. We’re fortunate that the event falls on both Valentine’s Day and President’s Day Weekend this year so that more people can get a taste of what it’s all about and then come back for more in 2016!”
Check out all the great events happening during this year’s Mardi Gras In The Mountains:
Krewe Krawl & Burning of the Wild Tchopitoulas (Thursday)
The Wild Tchopitoulas is a fictional character that serves as a mascot for Mardi Gras in the Mountains. Similar to Zozobra (Old Man Gloom) in Santa Fe, each Mardi Gras kicks off with a foot parade down Main Street (Krewe Krawl) leading the Tchopitoulas to his final moments. Spectators are encouraged to write down their troubles and worries and toss them into the fire as the Tchopitoulas is burning. Once that is done, Mardi Gras in the Mountains can officially begin!
Drink Making Contest (Friday)
In what has become one of the most competitive events during Mardi Gras in the Mountains, various krewes show off their abilities to make a great drink and put on an even better show. Judges for the drink contest are often chosen at random before the contest begins, so get there early to find a seat and be entered in the drawing. Each krewe is judged on their presentation, actual drink, and overall performance.
Mardi Gras Parade (Saturday)
Red River’s Mardi Gras krewes, local businesses, and various families and individuals participate with wild floats and elaborate costumes, as spectators line both sides of Main Street cheering for beads and candy. This is when much of the creativity surrounding the annual theme come out.
Mardi Gras Grand Ball & Costume Contest (Saturday)
Though there is a costume ball each night during Mardi Gras, the Grand Ball is the most magnificent of them all. Everyone is invited to the Red River Conference Center for live zydeco music, dancing, and the official Mardi Gras costume contest. Dress up for your chance to win Chamber Cash from the Chamber of Commerce (good at any chamber member in Red River).
Children’s Ball (Sunday)
Red River is known for it’s family friendly atmosphere year-round so it’s only fitting that we have a ball especially for kids. Location for 2015 TBD. Kids are also encouraged to wear their costumes and beads!
Cajun Cookoff (Tuesday)
Get your taste buds ready for this fun event! Everyone is welcome to enter and show off their Cajun cooking skills, or just come have a beer and sample the tasty treats. There is no fee to enter and you could win fantastic prizes! Call the Chamber of Commerce to register at (575)-754-2366.