The Fourth Annual Mardi Gras Krewe d’Alene brings the French Quarter to North Idaho
Unless you’re from the Big Easy or have taken part in New Orleans’ legendary Mardi Gras celebration, you may not be familiar with a krewe. Pronounced “crew,” it’s the organization that puts on a parade or ball during Mardi Gras. In North Idaho, the krewe behind Coeur d’Alene’s exciting Mardi Gras celebration is the Coeur d’Alene Arts and Culture Alliance.
For the past three years, the Alliance has transformed the Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Plaza Shops into a lively indoor rendition of the French Quarter. And since no trip to the French Quarter would be complete without Creole cuisine, Mardi Gras Krewe d’Alene will pit seven different local restaurants against each other, all competing for the Chef’s Choice and People’s Choice awards: Angelo’s Ristorante Italiano, Bardenay, Candle in the Woods, Moon Time, Republic Kitchen + Taphouse, Reuben’s Catering and Ten/6. When you’re thirsty, stop by Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar, a recreation of the oldest bar in the country for something to sip as you stroll through the plaza shops.
Keep your phone ready as you wander, because options for unique selfies abound as stilt walkers and jugglers pass by. Pause and have your fortune read, or adorn yourself with a henna tattoo or body painting. Watch as artists paint and sketch, completing colorful works right in front of you. Live music and a performance by drag queens Nova Kaine and Les Gurlz round out the entertainment.
“The one thing that makes this event so cool is that the whole Mardi Gras celebration incorporates art,” says Ali Shute, the Arts and Culture Alliance’s executive director. “The whole event showcases creativity, and that’s what we’re all about.”
If the food and New Orleans-inspired streetscape whet your appetite for a trip to the real Big Easy, make sure you purchase a raffle ticket online or at the event, and you could win a four-day-three-night trip for two to New Orleans. Laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll)!
The ultimate feel-good musical, featuring the music of ABBA, is presented by Aspire Community Theater. Rated PG-13. $19-$25; Thu-Sat 7:30 pm, Sat-Sun pm 2 pm; Salvation Army Kroc Center.
Toyota Ski Free Day
Drive a Toyota, Lexus or Scion out to Silver Mountain Resort on Feb. 15 and you’ll ski free all day.
Scenic Lake Cruises
Warm up this winter on Lake Coeur d’Alene with a toasty hot cup of cocoa in your hands as you sit back and enjoy a 90-minute scenic tour of Lake Coeur d’Alene. A hot cocoa bar is available on-board for purchases of hot chocolate for the kiddos and spiked cocoa for the adults. $10-$15; noon and 2:30 pm. Go to visitcda.org for tickets.