Bring on the beads! Kings Day kicks off Eureka's Mardi Gras
It may be winter, but last Saturday, the bon temps continued to roulez as Dan Ellis and his Krewe of Krazo launched Eureka Springs' 2013 Mardi Gras celebration with a Kings Day party at the Rowdy Beaver Restaurant.
King Krazo VII, Scott Smith, introduced his successor, Rod McGuire, who as King Krazo VIII will reign over the 2013 Eureka Gras with Queen Eureka VIII, Melodye Purdy. Smith also introduced the Krewe of Krazo royal court: Dukes Kent Crow, Fred Nelson, Steve Roberson and Kevin Ruehle, and Duchesses Lezlie Foley, Judy Kelley, Mary Springer and Letha Thiel. Tracey Lovette, not present, is also a duchess.
McGuire and Purdy are the king and queen apparent until the formal coronation at the Coronation Grand Ball on Feb. 8, Ellis said.
The next Eureka Gras event is the Taste of Nawlins on Saturday, Jan. 19, at the New Delhi Cafe. The Christening of the Floats by the Rev. Shaun Wesley takes place at 3 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Rowdy Beaver Restaurant. The Light and Sound Night Parade is at Saturday, Feb. 2, at 6 p.m., and the Royalty Day Parade the following Saturday, Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. Both parades are in downtown Eureka Springs.
The Hookers and Jokers Ball is on Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Inn of the Ozarks, followed by the Coronation Grand Ball on Feb. 8 at the Crescent Hotel, and the Beaux Art Ball Feb. 9 at the Basin Park Hotel. The culminating event is the St. 'Lizbeth Cajun Ball on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 6 p.m. at the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church parish hall on Passion Play Road. A jazz brunch, art exhibit, pub crawl and costume contest round out the festivities.
In the western Christian calendar, January 6 is Epiphany, when the three kings reached Bethlehem. It is celebrated with a King cake iced in purple, green and gold, the colors of Mardi Gras, which represent justice, faith and power. At Saturday's party, the Rowdy Beaver provided a buffet that included King cake.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is a celebration preceding the start of Lent, traditionally a time of fasting and repentance. This year, Lent starts on Feb. 13.