Smile, laughs, beads, and certainly a little too much fun was had at the annual Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade and celebration in Burlington last month. Nineteen years in the making, Magic Hat’s Mardi Gras celebration has now accommodated up to 25,000 people.
Matt Reveal, a regional manager for Magic Hat, shared the history of the Mardi Gras parade.
“Nineteen years ago this February, the Magic Hat Brewing Company had this crazy idea: to gather the city of Burlington, Vermont, together for a Mardi Gras-themed celebration to benefit a local non-profit.”
Of course, the only catch was that the Vermont brewer had to figure out how to get “Burlingtonians” outside for several hours in the middle of winter’s coldest, most unforgiving of February.
“Over the years, the Magic Hat Mardi Gras parade has seen it all: 50 degree February days, -5 degree February days, snow storms that led to a parade being canceled and rescheduled the following weekend,” Reveal said.
But the parade always carried on, according to Karl Anderson, a regional manager in Orlando, Florida. “Although this freezing cold weather persists, nothing stops me from flying up here and partying with some of the best guys I know. I love Mardi Gras!”
“I love Mardi Gras,” was shared throughout the crowd at this year’s parade, of course with too much Magic Hat beer in people’s systems, but all fun was had.
Each Mardi Gras weekend features an ice-breaking concert on the night before the parade hits the streets,” Reveal said.
“Bands that have primed the city and its many guests include The Jazz Guys, Soulive, The Disco Biscuits, Deep Banana Blackout and more. Through these efforts and so-called ‘debauchery,’ Magic Hat has helped to thaw the frozen winter streets of downtown Burlington, and, more importantly, raised money through revelry for non-profits such as HOPE Works for the last 17 years.”
Former Castleton student Robert Gorruso shared his enthusiasm for the event.
“It was a great time,” Gorruso said. “Parade was awesome, beads and moon pies flying everywhere. We bar hopped all over Burlington, tons of people were out drinking. It was a blast. Wild, but great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.”
So legals, if you don’t feel like spending close to $500 for a flight down to New Orleans for a good Mardi Gras, spend $40 on a car ride up to Burlington, Vermont, where each year, Magic Hat hosts its amazing Mardi Gras weekend, filled with beer, beads, and of course, debauchery.