It feels like it's been forever since there has been a party like this in Ellicottville, but it's back this year.  Get ready for Mardi Gras!

The last time they had a Mardi Gras party in Ellicottville was in 2019.  They were all set to have one in 2020, but as you may remember, just one week before the big date, the entire country was shut down. But now they're ready to start the celebration again.

“In March of 2020, just one week before our Mardi Gras celebration was set to take place, our nation’s leaders declared a public health emergency, and businesses and events were ordered to shut down to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Now, two years later, with vaccination rates increasing and mandates being lifted, we are excited to bring back the Mardi Gras Parade, and we’re looking forward to celebrating this iconic event with our friends again – safely.” Brian McFadden, executive director of the Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce

So it's back on March 12th in the village of Ellicottville! They've planned the parade to coincide with the Winter Festival that will be taking place from March 11-13.  If you'd like to have a float in the parade, you have to apply ahead of time on their website.  You have to be registered before March 1st if you'd like to enter a float.

The rules will be:

There is no rain date. 

- There is no "day of" registration.

- All groups and floats must be decorated in the spirit of Mardi Gras.

- No commercial advertising will be distrabuted during the parade.

- A member of your group must come and sign in your float or group at the registration table located a inside at Katy's Cafe. 

- All groups must be ready to be placed in the line-up upon arrival. 

- No candy or trickets are to be thrown into the crowd during the parade.

- No alcohol is permitted in the parade. 

- Anyone not maintaining a professional demeanor in the group will be asked to leave and forfeit their participation in the parade. 

A king and queen will be crowned at the end of the parade and they will be invited to lead the Winter Carnival Costume Parade down Mardi Gras slope the next day at Holiday Valley.

The Winter Carnival will include a toboggan race, costume contest, kids events, and more!  Click here for more on the carnival.

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