Photos by Bryan Oller
Editor’s note: We’ll post information about Feb. 18 traffic impacts as soon as possible.
Manitou honors the history of Carnivale in the town, alongside local organizations and businesses with supporting events and activities for the whole family.
Gather your krewe and come to Manitou Springs on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18, for the 30th Annual Manitou Springs Carnivale.
This year’s theme is Manitou Time Machine — think costumes of the decades as we continue to celebrate 150 years of Manitou Springs history. From cowboy to 1970s hippies, this theme is about bringing out all the colorful characters Manitou has seen over time!
“The ManiKrewe Carnivale committee is so excited to be leading Carnivale activities this year,” said Jenna Gallas, special events coordinator. “Honoring the past 30 years of Carnivale history and the people who made it happen is our privilege.”
In that spirit, Arlene and Jim Wood, founders of Carnivale in Manitou Springs, will serve as the parade’s grand marshals.
As the committee works to grow the event, other groups/organizations have joined the fun and scheduled Carnivale-related activities. See below for a list.
Start off the weekend at the CarniBall, a masquerade ball 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Briarhurst Manor Estate, 404 Manitou Ave. The Carnivale king, queen and court will be announced that evening and be honored as parade royalty and leaders on Saturday.
Tickets to CarniBall include a full Cajun buffet from You & I Catering, live music with Tribe, a New Orleans-style band, entertainment and live fire performers, as well as 500 casino chips to use for blackjack and craps. Prizes will be given away at the end of the evening; the more you earn at the casino games, the more chances you have of winning!
This year’s prizes have been donated by local businesses, including SunWater Spa, Commonwheel Artists Co-Op, and various restaurants and retail shops.
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the cash bar will be available 6-9 pm. Tickets are $50 per person and are available at manitousprings.org/carniball-masquerade.
The annual Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off returns on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Soda Springs Park, in the 1000 block of Manitou Avenue. Every year, professional and amateur chefs compete for the first, second and third place trophies and cash prizes. The happy gumbo samplers choose the People’s Choice Award.
There is no entry fee for the Mumbo Jumbo Gumbo Cook-Off; however, five gallons of gumbo is required. Amateur teams that participate will receive a stipend. The competition begins at 8 a.m. Judging and public tastings begin at 10:45 a.m. and awards will be announced at noon. It is only $1.50 for two samples of gumbo. The cook-off ends by 12:30 p.m. and will be followed by the Carnivale Parade.
Marching in the parade is free, but participants should sign up at manitousprings.org/carnivale-parade. Lineup begins at noon at Memorial Park, 500 block of Manitou Avenue. Leashed pets may be included in a registered krewe, but no vehicles will be permitted in the parade. Please also refrain from any political campaigning.
The parade will depart from Memorial Park at 1 p.m. and travel along Manitou Avenue to Soda Springs Park. Parking will be available in the free shuttle lot at Hiawatha Gardens (10 Old Man’s Trail), as well as at the Manitou Springs High School, 401 El Monte Place, and the middle school, 415 El Monte Place, with shuttle service available 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The Carnivale puppets will return to march in the parade this year, along with a new puppet from local artist Kat Tudor. Anyone (18 and older only, please) interested in donning a puppet for the parade should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information: 719-685-5089 or email email@example.com.
Giant Puppet Triage: Join the Manikrewe Carnivale committee and help with some of the giant puppets that need a little TLC! 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave. Free.
Shoebox Float Workshop: Elementary school age kids are invited to build a shoebox float for display at the Manitou Art Center. 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11. MAC, 513 Manitou Ave. Information: the MAC’s Facebook page. Free.
“Carnivale”: Celebrate 30 years of Carnivale in Manitou with original artwork, including posters, masks and multimedia art. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Monday, Feb. 27. Commonwheel Artists Co-op, 102 Cañon Ave.
SATURDAY, FEB. 18
Awards Ceremony at Soda Springs Park: Celebrate the krewe awards. 2 p.m.
After Party at Soda Springs Park: Stick around after the parade for the awards and a DJ-led after party presented by the Krewe of Shining Celestials. 2-4 p.m.
After-Parade Karaoke: Sing your hearts out and laugh your heads off. 2-9 p.m. Buffalo Lodge Bicycle Resort, 2 El Paso Blvd.
Live Music: Listen to Tribe and Family Elephant. 2 p.m.-midnight. Armadillo Ranch, 962 Manitou Ave.
Queenivale: Drag show and hors d’oeuvres. 4 p.m. Manitou Art Center, 513 Manitou Ave. $15 per person.