Eureka Springs Mardi Gras
Join in the Fun and Frolic of Eureka Springs Mardi Gras, started back in 2006 by the Krewe of Krazo (that’s Ozark spelled backwards!).
“Corps du Cavalier”
It is our intent to appreciate Eureka Springs Mardi Gras, with all it’s Krewes and the local citizenry in addition to local businesses all collaborating to put on a safe, fun spectacle for the locals and all the people drawn from the entire region to witness the festivities here in Eureka Springs.
It is our goal to become the anchor for a Grand Mardi Gras celebration in the Ozarks comprising not just NW Arkansas but the adjoining states. As in the case of Mardi Gras along the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, the celebration of Carnival is a myriad of activities that are spread over a calendar period from January 1 through February and sometimes including March — making our area a prime destination targets for tourism during the Winter Season!
A Brief History of Mardi Gras
D’Iberville, upon discovering the mouth of the Mississippi in 1699, celebrated a Mass on Mardi Gras Day on the banks of the river. Mobile, Alabama held the first Mardi Gras celebration in the French New World with the Cowbellian deRakin Society that began in 1830 on New Year’s Eve. The group was so named for the cowbells and rakes used as noisemakers when the men, led by Michael Kraft, walked the streets in a spontaneous festivity. Over the years, the group grew in size and reputation, and in 1840, it added floats to its parade.
In 1852, members of the Cowbellians marched in New Orleans, and the next year the men participated in a local bal masque.” They were also part of the group that in 1857 established the Mistick Krewe of Comus, which became the beginning of the New Orleans Carnival parading tradition as we know it, a tradition that would become part of the universal image of Carnival.
Historically, it is reported that as early as the 1620s, Swedes and Finns of Tinicum – a subdivision in Philadelphia, celebrated the New Year by shooting off guns (calling themselves the “Shooters”) and banging pots and pans in a clamor. When they began masking, they were called “Mummers,” a German derivative that means masking. The use of masks and different costumes were carried over from the Greek celebrations of King Momus, the Italian-feast of Saturnalia, and the British Mummery play.
So the new standard was set in Mobile, and later, in New Orleans.
Mardi Gras societies became known as Krewes, and most were made up of prominent society types or businessmen. The event marked the height of the social season.
Eureka Springs had its first taste of Mardi Gras, as promised by the Cowbellians and the Rascallians from the Gulf Coast. Dan Ellis and Al Hooks, both originating from New Orleans, created a grand time that was shared by all who participated in 2006 and 2007, when the Krewe of Krazo founded its first spectacular.
Heralding the best of old style Mardi Gras activities, Eureka Springs molds its own unique extravaganza.
Krewe of Krazo Captain Cathey Handley urges all fun-lovin’ folk to don Mardi Gras costumery and join in creating a greater “Eureka Gras Mardi Gras Extravaganza”.
For more information please call Cathy Handley at 337-298-4886, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!