After 2 years of hibernation, isolation, separation it is time for connection, socialization and celebration and the wildly-fun Krewe's here in Eureka Springs, Arkansas are more than ready to deliver two months of Mardi Gras Events from Costume Balls, Traditions, Parades, Cajun Food and more...
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.
Mardi Gras, as many of us know, means Fat Tuesday. I was introduced to the world by the French, which resulted in carnival events that originated in Mobile, Alabama and spread to New Orleans, Louisiana and today still exists in many cities.
The first Mardi Gras occurrence in Eureka Springs was in 1907 with a parade and two balls.
Eureka Gras was founded in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina transplants to Eureka Springs and has now grown to a 5-state regional Mardi Gras with over 14 events throughout January, February and into the beginning of March.
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.
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. Now, the Krewes in Eureka Springs are doing some wonderful things in the community for the community.
Krewe Du Kork's KaBRAret Dinner will take place at the beautiful Grand Central Hotel. This delicious dinner accompanied by wine pairings will celebrate and support our very own Eureka Springs School of the Arts (ESSA.)
Starting with Creole Shrimp over Cornbread. The meal will segue into a spring mix salad with spiced pecans and roasted butternut squash with strawberry vinaigrette.
There will be three entrée choices (please be sure to choose your entree when you purchase your ticket on Eventbrite - here.)
Creole Mustard Roasted Tenderloin with a Bourbon Glaze. Served with Dauphinois Potatoes and Green Beans
Sauteed Grouper with a Crawfish Meuniere Sauce. Served with Rice and Green Beans
Roasted Butternut Squash with Spinach, Pecans, Caramelized Onions and Dried Cranberries.
The bread pudding drizzled with banana foster glaze will top off the meal perfectly.
The Krewe of Barkus is a community group where dogs and their humans come together and they've become quite famous leading the Eureka Gras Day Parade featuring lavish costumes. Join this Krewe on Saturday, February 19, 2022 from 5:30pm – 7:00pm as they are featured in the Eureka Gras Light & Sound Parade.
On January 6, 2022, the Karnival season kicks off with the traditional "beading of the tree." That's right, one lucky tree (between The Carnegie Library and The Eureka Springs Post Office) is adorned with hundreds of beads to launch the season of Eureka Gras festivity.
Tree-beading will take place at 12:00 noon on Thursday, January 6, 2022 - at the designated tree, of course! You really can't miss it, look for a tree with some beads all over it and people standing around it adorned in green, yellow and purple with an intense need to bead.