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Mardi Gras in Arkansas!

Downtown Eureka Springs gets a little bit of New Orleans flare as Mardi Gras comes to town this January.  Celebrating its 9th year, Eureka Gras takes over the Eureka Springs streets with lots of colorful parades, masquerade balls, costume contests and authentic New Orleans style food.  New Orleans native, Dan Ellis began this event in 2006 and it has become one of the biggest festivals the town offers.  This year, the events will go from January to March with thirteen days and fifteen scheduled events.  The event is sponsored by the Crescent Hotel, Basin Park Hotel, Rowdy Beaver Restaurant and also is supported by many local banks.

Celebrations begin Saturday, January 11th with the Kings Day Kick Off party at Rowdy Beaver’s Tavern.  The Royal Court with King Krazo and Queen Eureka will be introduced.  Guests are encouraged to come masked or in full costume.  The Taste of N’Awlins comes to Keels Creek Winery at 2:00pm on February 15th.  Authentic Beignets and Café au Lait will be served making you feel like you’re at Café Du Monde in Louisiana.

The Eureka Gras Great Circus Parade lights up the streets on Saturday, February 22nd at 6:00pm.  Decorated floats complete with riders in full costume, will make their way through downtown on Spring and Main Street.  Be sure to get in on all the action and watch out for lots of flying beads.

The Hookers/Jokers Ball will be on February 27th at the Inn of the Ozarks Convention Center beginning at 6:00pm.  This event is open to the public but seats are limited.  A costume contest will be held with prizes in a variety of categories.  The Coronation Ball will be the following day but is a private event.  Held in the Crescent Hotel Ballroom, the Royal court will be paraded in formal attire making way for the new Royalty of 2014.

March 1st is packed with events starting with the Eureka Gras Day Parade at 2:00pm.  Immediately following, New Delhi Café will host the Krazo Kostume Kontest at 3:30pm.  Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes.  New Delhi is also hosting two umbrella decorating events on February 5th and 12th at 5:00pm.  Finishing the day will be the Beaux Arts Masquerade Ball at the Basin Park Hotel.  This public event begins at 7:00pm in the Barefoot Ballroom and will have costumes and live entertainment.

On March 2nd, the Crescent Hotel will host a Jazz Brunch, New Orleans style with traditional Cajun food and entertainment.  Tickets are $25 per person and reservations are recommended.  Brunch is from 11:00am to 2:00pm.  An Arti Gras Reception will take place on March 3rd at Caribe Cantina.  Festive attire is welcome.

When making arrangements to join in the Eureka Gras festivities, be sure to get your reservations booked at Arsenic and Old Lace Bed and Breakfast.  With its location just two blocks from the Historic District, you will be within walking distance of all the Mardi Gras action.  With superior service from innkeepers Beverly and Doug Breitling, Arsenic and Old Lace will set the scene for your vacation to the Ozarks.  Start making your arrangements today and Laissez les bon temps Rouler!

Photo courtesy of deadgekko

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