DEADWOOD, S.D. – The smell of Cajun cuisine will fill the air while thousands of party goers fill the streets as Deadwood rolls out its annual Mardi Gras celebration February 19 - 21, 2009. Mix mysterious masks, outrageous floats, nighttime parades, Cajun food and Louisiana-like revelry and you’ll see why Deadwood’s Mardi Gras has become one of the largest celebrations in the entire Midwest.
Last year’s event drew nearly 15,000 people to Deadwood’s historic Main Street and promises to be even bigger and better in 2009.
“The amount of people that come to this event is phenomenal,” says Sarah Anderson, Deadwood Chamber Event Coordinator. “That’s why we are encouraging anyone and everyone from any community to join us as a spectator, with a float or participate in Friday’s People’s Parade. It’s a lot of fun, anything goes and with so many people in attendance, it’s great publicity for a business or organization.”
The third annual Coronation and Social will take place on Thursday, February 19 at the Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort. A social will kick off the event beginning at 5 p.m. with free appetizers and beer sampling provided by Budweiser, while the coronation competition begins at 7 p.m. This year’s King and Queen of Mardi Gras will have the honor of presiding over Saturday’s Parade of Lights.
The annual “People’s Parade” will take place on Friday night beginning at 7 p.m. with live music, dancing in the street and all floats invited to participate as a precursor to Saturday’s main parade. A new twist to the Friday People’s Parade will be a costume contest immediately following the parade at the Silverado/Franklin Historic Hotel and Gaming Complex. Over $1,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the participant with the best Mardi Gras-themed costume. Capping off the Friday festivities will be live Cajun music featuring Curley Taylor and the Zydeco Trouble from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Cadillac Jack’s. The open container ordinance will be lifted from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday night from Four Aces to the Masonic Temple.
The annual Cajun Cook-off will take place on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with free public tasting at all locations. There are currently seven locations participating with possibly more to come. Currently in Deadwood the Lucky Nugget, Four Aces, Tin Lizzie, Mineral Palace, Gold Dust and Silverado are participating. The City of Lead is getting involved in the cook-off this year with the Stampmill participating for the prize of best Cajun cuisine. People tasting the food may make a small donation with proceeds going to the family of Deadwood's Linda Maxwell to help defray her medical costs.
Another new twist to the Mardi Gras festivities will be the first annual Cake Decorating Contest at the Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall. Come see some of the best Mardi Gras theme decorated cakes in the region from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Contact the Deadwood/Lead Arts Council at 584-1461 for more information.
The Mardi Gras Parade of Lights will also take place on Saturday, February 21 at 7 p.m., with lineup beginning at 6:15 p.m. at the Lower Main Street parking lot. Entry is free and the Chamber will provide each float with beads, but encourages all participants to bring plenty of their own.
For those who wish to take in the festivities but don’t want to drive, call the following shuttle services for more information. DaBus will be offering a shuttle service from Sturgis. The shuttle will run Saturday, Feb. 21, with the first pick-up at 6 p.m. The second pick up will be at 8 p.m. Return shuttles will be at 9 p.m. and Midnight. To secure your ride or for more information on DaBus, call (605) 206-0128. Prairie Hills Transit will be offering a shuttle from Spearfish to Deadwood and back. Departures from Spearfish will run at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Call (605) 642-6668 for more information and a schedule. There are also two cab companies that serve the Northern Hills. Dakota Taxi at (605) 920-2020 or Dakota Cab Company at (605) 571-1188.
Visit www.deadwood.com for more information.
Deadwood’s 2009 Mardi Gras Celebration Schedule of Events
Thursday, February 19thMardi Gras Coronation Competition – Couples from around the area will compete to become this year’s King and Queen of Mardi Gras. A social will kick off the event beginning at 5 p.m. at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort with the royalty competition beginning at 7 p.m. Winners will reign over Saturday’s Mardi Gras parade of lights. Free appetizers and beer sampling will be available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Friday, February 20thOpen container will be allowed on Main Street from Four Aces to the Masonic Temple from 5 p.m. till 10 p.m.
People’s Parade – This precursor to Saturday’s parade allows the public to participate with music, beads, floats, costume contest, dancing and more. The parade begins at 7 p.m. in the lower main parking lot and will work its way up Main Street. The parade will end in front of the Silverado Casino on upper Main Street. The public is encouraged to walk along the route and participate in all the fun.
Mardi Gras Costume Contest - Immediately following the parade at the Silverado/Franklin Historic Hotel and Gaming Complex. Over $1,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to the participant with the best Mardi Gras themed costume.
“Curley Taylor & the Zydeco Trouble” will perform from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort.
Saturday, February 21stOpen container will be allowed on Main Street from Four Aces to the Masonic Temple from 5 p.m. till 10 p.m.
Cajun Cook-Off – Deadwood’s annual Cajun Cook-Off takes place from 2 p.m. to 4p.m. at soon to be named locations. A public tasting will take place with donations encouraged going to the family of Linda Maxwell to help defray medical costs.
1st Annual Mardi Gras Cake Decorating Contest – Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall from 2 p.m. till 4 p.m. Contact the Deadwood/Lead Arts Council at 584-1461 for more information.
Deadwood’s Annual Mardi Gras Parade – The annual parade will begin at 7 p.m., running up historic Main Street. Over 50,000 sets of beads will be thrown along the parade route.
“Curley Taylor & the Zydeco Trouble” will perform from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall.
Shuttle Service and Cab Companies providing transportation for Mardi Gras
DaBus – Sturgis to Deadwood. 605-206-0128
Prairie Hills Transit – Spearfish to Deadwood. 605-642-6668
Dakota Taxi – 605-920-2020
Dakota Cab Company – 605-571-1188