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DEADWOOD, S.D. – After a Mardi Gras weekend that kicked-off with the King and Queen coronation Thursday night, Mardi Gras in Deadwood 2009 saw more floats, more beads, more Cajun food and more revelers than ever before.

While the weather was anything but New Orleans warm, an estimated 15,000 people were lined up on Deadwood’s Main Street Saturday night to view the Parade of Lights. It’s estimated that some 100,000 beads were thrown from more than 30 floats during the parade. 

There was also a Cajun Cook-Off, the first annual Cake Decorating Contest and a costume contest held after Friday night’s People’s Parade. 

Here’s a run-down of the events and winners:

Cajun Cook-OffEight locations in Deadwood and one location in Lead competed to take the crown of Cajun Cook-off during Deadwood’s Mardi Gras celebration on Saturday, Feb. 21. A group of anonymous judges casted their votes, and only 4 points separated the first and third place finishers.

First Place: Four AcesSecond Place: Gold DustThird Place: Tie between Bourbon Street and Tin Lizzie.

Mardi Gras Cake Decorating ContestThe first annual Mardi Gras Cake Contest was held during Deadwood’s weekend festivities. More than a dozen cakes were entered in the contest, and contestants competed in two categories – professional and amateur.In the amateur division:Best Presentation: Jessie, Rachael and Miracle HannaBest Theme: TIE: Jessie, Rachael and Miracle Hanna and Tara HansonOriginality: Jessie, Rachael and Miracle Hanna

Amateur Honorable Mention:Presentation: Lisa Lolnewsky-NewmillerTheme: Lisa Lolnewsky-NewmillerOriginality: Christine Broghammer

Professional Division:Overall Winner: Victoria Schlesselman

Mardi Gras Parade of LightsMore than 30 floats entered Saturday night’s Mardi Gras Parade of Lights, and these floats paraded in front of an estimated 15,000 revelers packed on to Deadwood’s Main Street.

Parade Winners:
Best Overall: Saloon #10
Best Mardi Gras Theme: Deadwood GulchBest Lights: Lead Chamber of CommerceBest Business Float: Tin LizzieCommunity Spirit: Deadwood TrolleyMayor’s Choice: Gold Dust and Four Aces

The next big event in Deadwood is St. Patrick's Day. Celebrations will be held on March 14 and March 17. St. Patrick's Day parades will be held on both days. Visit for more information.