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CarniVail is Here! Les Bon Temps Rouler!

Jo Jo’s Mardi Gras Band Will Perform a Free Concert at Checkpoint Charlie in Vail, Colo. on Fri., Feb. 27 from 6-9p.m.

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VAIL, Colo. —February 19, 2009

— Move over N’Awlans, CarniVail is here! It’s the largest annual Mardi Gras celebration at 8,150 feet above sea level. CarniVail returns to Vail, Colorado February 22-24 and new this year is a free concert featuring Jo Jo’s Mardi Gras Band with Widespread Panic’s “Jo Jo” on Friday, February 27 from 6-9 p.m. at Checkpoint Charlie concert venue in Vail Village.

CarniVail kicks off Sunday with the 10 Cane Crawfish Boil and the tunes of Jonny McGumbo Band at Eagles Nest. Immediately following, the Navan Cocktail Mix-Off Competition will be held at the Tap Room from 3-5p.m. At this CarniVail après event, Vail Valley bartenders will demonstrate their best mixology skills for their chance to win CarniVail’s prestigious award. Bartenders will be allowed to use Navan Vanilla Liqueur, Chopin Potato Vodka or 10 Cane Rum in their cocktail concoctions and be judged by a select panel of liquor specialists and CarniVail celebrity judges.

“This year’s CarniVail kick-off festivities are going to be a lot of fun,” said Mark Santini of Highline Sports & Entertainment. “Everyone should hit up Eagles’ Nest for some true Cajun cookin’ and then head to the Tap Room to cheer on their favorite local bartender in the Navan Cocktail Mix-off Comp.”

On Monday, the annual CarniVail Mask-erade Party will be held at The Arrabelle at Vail Square outside near the ice-skating rink. On tap will be a mask decorating area for children and families, food and beverage, tons of giveaways and authentic Brazilian sambas provided by Sambadende.

On Tuesday the New Orleans-style celebrations will continue in Vail Village with the Bud Light Street Party starting at 3p.m. and the legendary Fat Tuesday Parade starting at 4p.m. Locals and guests are encouraged to dress up in Mardi Gras apparel and beads and partake in all the CarniVail fun. The parade will travel from International Bridge to Seibert Circle and will conclude with the official crowning of the CarniVail King and Queen, announcement of the Float Competition winner as well as a King Cake Eating contest. The Tony G All Stars will perform throughout the street party festivities.

“Fat Tuesday is going to be a jam-packed night of Mardi Gras merriment in Vail Village!” said James Deighan of Highline Sports & Entertainment. “For locals and guests alike, the week of CarniVail is a fun and family-friendly time.”

To round out the CarniVail festivities, John “Jo Jo” Hermann of Widespread Panic, will perform a free concert with his Mardi Gras Band on Friday, February 27. The Jo Jo Mardi Gras Band concert will be held from 6-9p.m. at Vail’s Checkpoint Charlie outdoor venue. Vail’s Bonfire Dub will open for the concert and food courtesy of Old Forge Pizza will be available for purchase.

It’s all part of the CarniVail festival, Vail’s annual Mardi Gras festival held Sunday, February 22 through Friday, February 27. For a complete CarniVail schedule, visit Laissez les bon temps rouler!

CarniVail Event Schedule

Sunday, February 22

10 Cane Crawfish Boil with special music by Jonny Mogambo Band, Eagles Nest, 12-2pm

Navan Cocktail Mix-Off Competition, Tap Room in Vail Village, 3-5pm

Monday, February 23

Mask-erade Party featuring Sambadende, Arrabelle at Vail Square, 3-6pm

Tuesday, February 24

Bud Light Street Party featuring the Tony G All Stars in Vail Village, 3-6pm

Fat Tuesday Parade in Vail Village, 4-5pm

– Crowning of CarniVail King and Queen

– Announce Float Contest Winner

– King Cake Eating Contest

Bud Light Post Party, Vendetta’s in Vail Village, 7-9pm

Wednesday, February 25

Bud Light Post Party, Red Lion in Vail Village, 8-10pm

Thursday, February 26

Navan & 10 Cane Après Party, Pepi’s in Vail Village, 3-5pm

Bud Light Post Party, The Club in Vail Village, 8pm-12am

Friday, February 27

Jo Jo’s Mardi Gras Band, Free Concert on Gore Creek Drive in Vail Village, 6-9pm

* Featuring “Jo Jo” of Widespread Panic

* With special guest Bonfire Dub

CarniVail is yours thanks to Vail Mountain, Bud Light, Amp Energy Drink, Navan, Verizon Wireless, Town of Vail and Outside Magazine and is sponsored in part by Vail Daily, TV8 the official TV station of Vail and Beaver Creek Resorts and KZYR-The Zephyr. Visit for more information.