It's time for beads, krewes, colorful floats, Cajun cooking and skiing.
Skiing? You read correctly.
It's Mardi Gras in the Mountains time in New Mexico. February 7-12th, it's a full on Mardi Gras celebration in the Red River Ski Area.
The tradition started almost three decades ago when Red River's owners recognized that their Louisiana clientele tended to come skiing instead of staying home when the state granted school holidays during Fat Tuesday. Not to have them miss out on a good time, they created Mardi Gras In the Mountains to make them feel at home.
The celebration started small and now has grown to include daily parades, costume balls, cooking contests, crawfish boils and even a torchlight parade down the mountain on the night of Mardi Gras. The seven krewes in town have such auspicious names as Motley Krewe, Kowboy Krewe, Red River Pirate Krewe and Krewe de Lush. Red River has proven that it knows how to "laissez les bons temps rouler" (that translates to "let the good times roll").
And it's not just Louisianans having fun. Everyone gets in on the act and the beads hanging in the trees along the ski lifts are a year round testament.
The week long activities draw in people from all over. Mardi Gras in the Mountains' popularity has proven you don't have to be Cajun to act Cajun and you don't have to be in Louisiana to fully enjoy Mardi Gras..
Located on the Colorado border just three hours north of Albuquerque, Red River has a well earned reputation for not just its great skiing, but its ability to create fun activities for those who come to check it out. Other annual activities include Beach Week, Winter Carnival and Thanksjibbing.
For the full schedule of activities for Mardi Gras In the Mountains.
For more on the Red River Ski Area.