Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade, courtesy photos
Vermont Business Magazine Join a warming swarm of raucous revelers for the 22nd annual Magic Hat Mardi Gras celebration, March 10-12, in downtown Burlington. All events over Mardi Gras weekend will bring awareness and support for the Vermont Foodbank, while offering a fun and festive fête for the community. Over the years, Magic Hat’s Mardi Gras weekend has raised more than $250,000 for Vermont nonprofits, and the tradition will continue in 2017. Join the local brewer for a jolly jubilee and experience everything a Vermont-style Mardi Gras has to offer including a Magic Hat beer launch, the #9 Fun Run, live music, a family-friendly Jambalaya Zone, the glorious Grand Parade, and much more!
Mardi Gras weekend offers the perfect platform for some friendly competition of the drinkable variety. As revelers boogie their way downtown, they can join the #ChooseYourHefe faceoff between Magic Hat’s classic American-style hefeweizen, Circus Boy, and his German-style doppelganger, Zirkus Boy. Attendees can support their favorite by by sampling each beer and casting a vote. Which will you choose: Circus Boy or Zirkus Boy? The good news is, everyone’s a winner in the end, because Circus Boy vs. Zirkus Boy split packs will be available for purchase at retailers locally and along the East Coast starting March 10.
Kick-off Mardi Gras Weekend with Loads of Live Music
The festivities will kick off on Friday night, March 10, with live music from Fishbone at the Top Block of Church Street at 6pm. The tunes will continue with the soulful sounds of Burlington’s Own Steady Betty in the Showcase Lounge at Higher Ground. Doors open at 7pm, and the show will begin at 7:30pm. Steady Betty is an 8-piece band paying homage to the classic late 60s sound of Jamaica. Louis The Child will also be performing in the Higher Ground Ballroom with doors opening at 8:00pm and the show beginning at 8:30pm. Hailing from Chicago, Louis The Child is an electronic music duo with the simple goal of creating music that makes people happy. Also playing at Higher Ground during Mardi Gras weekend are Billy Dean & The Honor Roll and DJ Ryan Brown.
Mardi Gras Day-Of Festivities
Saturday, March 11, will be a fun-filled day of festivities, starting with a breakfast at the Artifactory, performances on Church Street beginning at 11am, the #9 Fun Run, feature performances on the City Hall Park stage, the parade through downtown, and a family-friendly Jambalaya Zone.
Kegs & Eggs Breakfast at the Artifactory
Start the day off right with Kegs & Eggs at the Magic Hat Artifactory from 10am-1pm. There will be local food trucks, tents, tunes from Funky Dawgz Brass Brand, and, of course, Magic Hat beers before the downtown festivities. Party-goers can beging the celebrations early with their favorite brew and don’t even have to worry about driving, as Magic Hat will be providing shuttles to and from this event.
Magic Hat #9 Fun Run
The #9 Fun Run -- named for the popular Magic Hat beer -- will begin at 2:15pm at the intersection of Church and Main Street. This all-ages run/walk will feature participants in magnificent Mardi Gras garb, with 100 percent of the $20 registration fee going to support the Vermont Foodbank. To continue with the #9 theme and throw a Magic Hat-style wrench into things, the 9th person to cross the finish line will be the winner! Registration for the Fun Run begins at noon at the Magic Hat tent on Church Street.
More Live Performances
On Friday night, Fishbone is getting the band back together in Burlington for a feature performance. For the first time in 25 years, the original members are touring together and will help celebrate Magic Hat’s Mardi Gras weekend with a show at the top of Church Street, starting at 6pm. The live shows will continue with a performance by White Denim after the Grand Parade on Saturday at 4pm on City Hall Park Stage.
The Glorious Grand Parade
Following the Fun Run, this year’s Grand Parade will sashay down Main St. in all its festive glory at 3pm. Spectators can celebrate local businesses and community groups as they show off their creativity with elaborate floats ready to woo the judges for a chance to win fabulous prizes. Attendees can also look forward to a rainstorm of beads and chocolates, donated by Lake Champlain Chocolates. Following the parade, there will be performances on City Hall Park Stage and festivities continuing throughout the city.
Magic Hat Mardi Gras Weekend is a fundraiser that aims to raise awareness and money for the Vermont Foodbank while celebrating with the local community. Those wishing to add flair to their winter dress may purchase beads and masks at local shops and at stands along Church Street and City Hall Park, proceeds from which will benefit the Vermont Foodbank. Each year, the Foodbank and their network of food shelves and meal sites throughout the state serve 153,000 Vermonters in need of emergency food assistance. To learn more about Vermont Foodbank’s mission, visit them at www.vtfoodbank.org.
Magic Hat Brewing Company & Performing Arts Center