Red River throws ‘Mardi Gras in the Mountains’ event
RED RIVER, N.M. – Folks from across the county are flocking to Red River this weekend. Most of them decked out in purple, green, and gold beads, ready for some Louisiana fun here in New Mexico as they celebrate Marti Gras in the Mountains.
From dancing skeletons, to glowing green cocktails, downtown Red River feels like it could belong right on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
“We have been included in short lists of top 5 places in the U.S. to celebrate Mardi Gras,” Rex Foundation Organizer Ron Weathers said. “Opening night things were a little slower, but there were people from probably six or seven states and that was just Thursday.”
More folks are expected to come into Red River as the weekend goes on, and they have Cajun fun planned for the whole family.
“There is the main street parade then more balls and more balls and ohh yeah I should not forget the Mardi Gras grand ball,” Red River Chamber of Commerce CEO Naoma Staley said.
Mardi Gras in the Mountains started back in ‘90s when folks from Louisiana would leave New Orleans to escape the craziness of Mardi Gras but, they didn’t want to miss out on the all the celebrations. So, they brought their traditions here and they stuck.
“New Mexico itself is so quirky and odd, and it is this peculiar mixture of people, and you experience the unexpected all the time that’s what makes us precious and that is exactly what Mardi Gras in the Mountains is, so it’s another twist of what it means to be New Mexican,” Staley said.
This year they wanted to get more of our state involved so the New Mexico Distillers’ Guild set up a craft spirits showcase showing off local spirits from all over the state.
“By bringing people from all over the state up here to see what we are doing and also hopefully in the future that will translate to more people from all over coming here,” Staley said.
So, no matter if you come out for the drinks—or the beads—the folks up in Red River all have the same goal.
“We want to show people a good time and we want to put smiles on faces, and we want them going home saying we love that place and we want to come back next year,” Weathers said.
Mardi Gras in the Mountains party continues into next week and with the last events happening on Fat Tuesday.