This year's theme is the 'Land of Oz,' and the fun kicks off Thursday evening with the Coronation Gala, 6 p.m. at the Crescent Hotel. Partygoers will receive a light supper, champagne and entertainment for a mere $10 ticket, and the royal court will be introduced. Reservations are required for the gala, so call or email early to land your spot. At 8 p.m. Friday, the Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball and Dance will get the groove rolling at the Basin Park Ballroom, with live music and light refreshments, so get ready to boogie the night away! You'll have some time to sleep in on Saturday, because the parade starts at 2 p.m., winding through downtown Eureka Springs. Wear your coolest costume and score some beads, but remember to stay warm; it is February, after all. The parade's grand marshal will be Frank Anderson, mayor of nearby Bella Vista.
On Sunday, enjoy a jazz brunch in the Crystal Dining Room at the Crescent Hotel, complete with live music and a dazzling spread of brunch goodies. Take the day off Monday, see some sights, and rest up for the Mardi Gras Krazo Krawl on Tuesday. Folks will gather for this pub crawl at 3 p.m. at the Pied Piper Pub, then head off for fun as they visit six different taverns, all the while partying in their full costumes, complete with masks and decorated umbrellas.
What, you may ask, does Krazo mean? Founder and former New Orleans resident Dan Ellis explains that it's merely Ozark spelled backwards; when he and a couple of friends decided to bring the Mardi Gras tradition to Eureka Springs, they realized the name had to have a local connection, and came up with the Krewe of Krazo. Their five year plan to build the local Mardi Gras celebration continues to proceed on track; Ellis said he was already receiving calls about the celebration before Thanksgiving. "Word is getting out," he said.
Plan your Mardi Gras getaway now, and you'll have lots of local street cred when the festivities grow into legendary status. For more info, visit www.krazo.ureeka.org, email email@example.com, or call (479) 981-9551.