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Burlington, VT Hosts 19th Annual Mardi Gras Weekend

02.27.2014 16:28 PM

Burlington, Vermont residents don’t have to travel to New Orleans to get a taste of Mardi Gras. Local brewer Magic Hat has been hosting a raucous Mardi Gras weekend celebration for the past 18 years, drawing tens of thousands of revelers to the Queen City. There’s a parade with over 30 themed floats, a costume contest and live music.

At first, Magic Hat wasn’t sure if people would flock to the streets in the dead of winter. Yet, it turned out, the stir-crazy locals were eager to get out of the house and vacationers liked adding this little diversion to their fun snowboarding / skiing vacations. Over the years, there have been 50 degree days and – 5 degree days, so you never know what you’re going to get.

The fun includes live performances from bands like The Disco Biscuits, Deep Banana Blackout, Soulive, moe., and The Jazz Guys. Beads, moonpies and Lake Champlain chocolates rain down from each of the floats onto shouting revelers below.  While thawing out the winter streets, Magic Hat supporters manage to raise over $200,000 for local charities to benefit abused women.  

While you’re in town, don’t forget to stop by the Magic Hat brewery to see how 400 bottles of fresh beer are churned out every minute and drink from The Growler Bar’s 48 taps. You’ll find usual suspects like #9 and Circus Boy, but also a slew of seasonal and rare experimental beers you can’t find anywhere else. They’re open Friday and Saturday from 10am to 7pm, and Sunday from noon to 5 pm.

For more information on this year’s event, visit www.MagicHat.net.

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