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Mardi Gras | Did you know?

1 | Mardi Gras became the celebration we know today because of a secret society.

In 1837, a secret society known as the Mistik Krewe of Comus aimed to elevate the often chaotic experience, replacing the debauchery with lavish balls and parades. Eventually, the "Fat Tuesday" celebrations of New Orleans garnered much support and enthusiasm, later establishing itself as the Mardi Gras capital of the USA.

2 | There are more than 100 secret societies (or "Krewes") involved in Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans, LA.

Each Krewe builds a float to represent their specific theme on parade days, and features a celebrity guest to regal their audience. One of the more unusual groups is the Krewe of Chewbacchus—a society that combines their love for Star Wars with the Greek God of wine.

2016 - The Krewe of Chewbacchus honor Carrie Fisher

3 | In 1872, Russian royal Grand Duke Alexis Romanov Alexandrovich, brother of the heir apparent to the Russian throne, traveled to Louisiana to partake in the celebrations!

Each year, to forever honor Grand Duke Alexis Romanov Alexandrovich's arrival to New Orleans, one ruler is anointed as "The King of Carnival." The king is selected by the Krewe of Rex.

The Krewe of Rex (also founded in 1872) has chosen a person of distinction every year since. Today, the mayor presents the King of Carnival with a symbolic key to the city of New Orleans.

4 | Did you know that it is illegal to wear masks in New Orleans except on Mardi Gras? The masquerade is an enduring tradition of the Mardi Gras festivities as an opportunity for people to shed their inhibitions and fully imbibe in the party-spirit.

An antiquated New Orleans city ordinance prohibits the wearing of masks on any other day of the year. This ordinance also demands that on Mardi Gras all masks must be removed by 6:00 p.m.

5 | Local residents, Dan Ellis and Al Hooks, both originating from New Orleans, were displaced from their beloved homes due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. After finding themselves relocated here in Eureka Springs, they set out to create our very own grand celebration to be shared by all.

Not long after their arrival, in 2006, it happened and the Krewe of Krazo was formed and subsequently founded its first ever spectacular Mardi Gras celebration here in Eureka Springs, which today is affectionately known as Eureka Gras.

King Krazo XV Apparent – Jeff Franco and Queen Eureka XV Apparent – Kat Beahm (2020)

Eureka Springs is also very fortunate to have a number of excellent Krewes that have formed over the years. Each of them are unique, and all of them are necessary to make Mardi Gras happen! We proudly and humbly thank them for all that they do to serve our wonderful village here in Arkansas!

The Krewe of Krazo was the first Eureka Springs Mardi Gras Krewe - the Krewe that started it all.

On "Fat Tuesday," February 25, 2020 (that’s what Mardi Gras means, incidentally) the 2020 Eureka Gras season will come to a close.

Each January and February, our coldest, darkest months of winter, The Krewes come alive. This highly anticipated Annual Eureka Springs Winter Festival has been, once again, filled with revelry, memories, fun and friends - old and new.

The 2020 Eureka Springs Mardi Gras has been a truly wonderful way to kick off the new year and "let the good times roll" all during winter. As The Krewe of Krazo wraps up the final threads of this season, plans for the 2021 Eureka Springs Mardi Gras have already begun.

Start making your plans now because Eureka Gras 2021 will be here before you know it!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Let The Good Times Roll!


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