Mardi Gras arrives in Detroit when the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Winter at Valade Conservancy celebration concludes its winter programming season with a holiday weekend on February 25-27 at Valade Park.
Mardi Gras will include the feel of the Caribbean and New Orleans with the production of masquerade masks, Mardi Gras costume contest, American Thanksgiving parade, Creole-themed food, big head Parade Company and more. There will also be parades of marching bands, spinning DJs, and live bands performing NOLA jazz, zydeco, funk and R&B.
Presented by Huron-Clinton Metroparks, Winter at Valade began in December and gives visitors to Valade Park a host of winter fun every weekend until 27 February. Winter at Valade functions large outdoor bonfires, marshmallow braziers, hot seasonal alcoholic and soft drinks, delicious food, sledding, synthetic ice curling and great programming from fitness classes to dog walking for all ages every weekend.
Mardi Gras is the fifth and final special thematic a weekend during the Winter at Valade celebration, during which winter in Michigan is reinterpreted through ice sculptures, cultural events, live music and more.
Robert S. Valad Park is located at 2670 East Atwater along the East Riverfront in downtown Detroit. Winter hours in Valad are every weekend from 16.00 to 21.00 on Friday, from 12.00 to 21.00 on Saturday and from 12.00 to 19.00 on Sunday.
The weekend begins Friday at 5pm with live bands and DJs performing everything from steel drums to NOLA bounces. There will also be a carnival showcase, parade and food trucks.
Saturday will begin with activities for the whole family, including the production of masquerade masks from Arts & Scraps, Parade Company Big Heads and a demonstration of artists from TEAD One Memorial. Saturday night will be straight from Bourbon Street with a second-line parade with Gabriel’s brass band as well adult costume contest and live New Orleans funk and zydeco music. Sunday will also include crafts from Arts & Scraps in addition to the Detroit Party Marching Band and traditional live jazz and rhythm and blues.
Live music all weekend
Musical artists from all over Detroit will perform all weekend. A variety of bands and DJs will perform music from the Caribbean and New Orleans, including brass band, jazz, zydeco, steel pan and bounce. Among the artists represented – Gabriel Brass Band, Sky Covington, Aaron Bravesoul Parrott, DJ Jewels Baby and Detroit Party Marching Band.
Trucks with food and food in Creole themes
Mardi Gras offers a variety of delicious food and beverages featuring Louisiana favorites such as gumbo, runs, jambala, hurricanes and rum cakes. The event will feature Food Truck and Detroit’s Original Seafood Truck, as well as Smokey G’s Smokehouse and Geisha Girls, are two eateries that operate at The Shed in Volod Park year-round.
Competition for making masquerade masks and costumes
Winter in Valade Mardi Gras provides an opportunity to take part in practical entertainment for the whole family. On Saturday and Sunday, children and parents can be creative, making a masquerade with Arts & Scraps and Parade Company, which will feature their Big Heads. On Saturday, there will be a costume contest on the theme of Mardi Gras for all ages, participants of which will be able to win a weekend getaway at the Soaring Eagle Casino. TEAD One Memorial Artist Showcase with a live painting by Detroit artist Richie Blanc on Saturday.
The TEAD One Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by the Jordan Vaughn family to continue his artistic heritage and seek opportunities to support the diverse art culture in Detroit and surrounding communities.
All weekend curling and boxing hockey, which were extremely popular with visitors to Valade Park this and last winter, will be available to guests.
This winter season in Valade every weekend there is something for everyone
Every weekend includes hands-on activities and winter games, including synthetic ice curling and boxing hockey. The Sled Shed is sponsored by Chip and Sarah McClure, and, weather permitting, visitors will be provided with free sleds that can be used while in the park. Several giant open fireplaces are located throughout the park to warm guests.
In the winter in Valade every weekend there will be no shortage of delicious food and drinks. The Shed Bar will feature hot seasonal alcoholic and non-alcoholic classics such as hot chocolate and cider and Granny’s Hot Toddys. You can also buy marshmallow sets for baking in the park.
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and the Huron-Clinton metropolitan administration have announced in 2020 details of a partnership that will leverage the unique assets of the two organizations while strengthening regional outdoor recreation opportunities for youth in southeastern Michigan.
The 2020-21 winter season was the debut of the Winter at Valade program for the Detroit Riverfront. The Conservancy team draws on the successes of last season’s events, returning some favorite amenities and introducing new ones this season. This winter season, more than 25,000 people attended the extended Winter at Valade festivals, which include the Holi Jolie promenade in December, the Fire & Ice and Winter Around The World festivals in January and Motown Love in mid-February.
“The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is proud to offer a variety of programs for people who can enjoy year-round,” said Rachel Freerson, director of programming. «Thanks to the huge success of the Holly Jolly Riverfront, Fire & Ice, Winter Around The World and Motown Love festivals, we encourage Detroit residents to embrace winter. Mardi Gras at Valade is a great way to say goodbye to another epic fun season on Detroit’s waterfront. ”
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is grateful to all the sponsors who support Winter at Valade. Sponsors to date are: Representing Sponsor: Huron-Clinton Metroparks; Sponsor of the Fire and Ice Festival: Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort; Sponsor Winter Around the World: Visit Detroit; Sledges: Chip and Sarah McClure; Cozy community sponsors: Scott M. Delcamin, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Janine Pixley and Brian Parkhurst, Goert-Treadwell Family Foundation, Matt Grimes and El Schroeder, Meyer Rivertown Market, MI Building & Construction Trades, Russell Development Company, Russell Development Company Walker-Miller Energy Services, Wendy Lewis Jackson, Scott Wickens and Wolverine Packing. The event booklet is sponsored by Banner Sign Co, Detroit Segway and Means Group Inc.
The safety of all waterfront visitors is a paramount concern for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, so social distancing protocols will apply to all winter activities in the Government.
For more information, visit detroitriverfront.org.