Manitou Springs’ Carnivale will mark 31 years of merriment

News  /  Village

Giant puppets are integral to Carnivale Parades.

This year, Manitou Springs will celebrate 31 years of bringing Mardi Gras, Manitou-style, to the Pikes Peak region. The theme for the 2023 Carnivale is “Manitou Time Machine.”

Manikrewe, the Carnivale committee, is coordinating the parade, scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18.

“We are working to make Carnivale in Manitou an even more festive experience for our visitors,” said Jenna Gallas, special events coordinator for the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce.

“That means bringing in new Mardi Gras elements, but also honoring those who established Carnivale here and made it the inclusive, ‘everyone welcome’ event that continues to draw thousands of parade-goers every year.”

The Chamber of Commerce took the reins of the parade in 2018.

The committee is working to incorporate a little bit of Gulf Coast Mardi Gras into Carnivale.

“We are inviting dance groups, high school marching bands and mini-krewes, and adding other elements of Mardi Gras,” said Gallas. “The parade will be a little bigger while still having that Manitou vibe, complete with belly dancers, djembe drummers and giant puppets.”

As the giant puppets are an original component of Manitou’s Carnivale, the committee has asked a local artist to design and build a new one for the collection.

Carnivale weekend includes Carniball, scheduled for Friday, Feb. 17, at the Briarhurst Manor (404 Manitou Ave.). Guests are encouraged to attend the ball in costume. Find more information and the ticket portal at

The Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-off will take place Saturday, Feb. 18, in Soda Springs Park. Tastings cost 75 cents each and will be available starting at 11 a.m.

Information: the Chamber of Commerce website.

To nominate the Carnivale Court, visit here.

To participate in the parade, register your krewe here.

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