Most ski towns have celebrations in the middle of winter, to ease the cold weather doldrums (honestly, any excuse to get together and have a good time, and we’ll take it!). Vail is no different. Every year, all the businesses and locals work together to throw CarniVail; a big, fun, New Orleans style celebration. Here are 3 tips you’ll need to plan your weekend of fun and celebration!
1. Know the Schedule
This year’s CarniVail takes place February 25-26th. The full schedule can be found here, but here are a few of our favorite events on each day:
Saturday: Crawfish Boil at Eagle’s Nest
On Saturday, February 25th, head to Eagles Nest at 12:00pm for the highest low-country crawfish boil. There will be live music, beer specials (as well as hurricanes), and a fantastic menu of crawfish, corn, sausage, potatoes, gumbo, etoufee, king cake, and more!
Sunday: Bud Light CarniVail Party at Express Lift
Bud Light’s party takes place from 3-6pm at the Express Lift. Here, you’ll find great beer specials, a delicious menu of Colorado sausage, cheese curds, and other great food. Be ready to have a good time, and enter to win the drawing – a Bud Light cruiser bike!
2. Know the Lingo
CarniVail is mirrored off of the famous Mardi-Gras parties in New Orleans. Because of this, you’ll need to know a few terms that aren’t a normal part of our vocabulary:
- Etoufee: Etouffee (pronounced “ay-TOO-fay) is a traditional Cajun dish made with smothered shellfish, served over rice. It tastes as delicious as it sounds, though not quite as fancy.
- Beignet: This awe-inspiring dessert is similar to a donut: It is made from deep-fried choux pastry, and usually is filled with chocolate.
- Jambalaya: This dish is a mix of vegetables and protein (usually chicken, sausage, and shrimp), mixed with rice. It’s a distant cousin of paella – and equally as tasty!
- Gumbo: Gumbo is often confused with jambalaya; it’s a mix of vegetables and protein, but it’s thinner – like a soup – and served with rice cooked separately.
3. Plan Ahead
Vail is a popular place year-round, but is a favorite destination for many people during CarniVail. Plan ahead by booking your trip now and plotting out which days you’ll ski, and where you’ll head to for apres-ski and other activities. Most of all, have fun during your trip to Vail!