It’s just about here — MARDI GRAS in DEADWOOD! The schedule of events has been set, and we are int he process of finding folks interested in participating in the Cajun Cook-Off, the parades and the first annual Mardi Gras Cake Contest. Information on these events is just below the schedule. Give us a call if you’d like more information — 1-800-999-1876; or email to


Thursday, February 19th
Mardi Gras Coronation Competition – Couples from around the area will compete to become this year’s King and Queen of Mardi Gras. A social will kick off the event beginning at 5 p.m. at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort with the royalty competition beginning at 7 p.m. Winners will reign over Saturday’s Mardi Gras parade of lights. Free appetizers and beer sampling will be available from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday, February 20th
Open container will be allowed on Main Street from Four Aces to the Masonic Temple from 5pm till 10pm.

People’s Parade – This precursor to Saturday’s parade allows the public to participate with music, beads, floats, costume contest, dancing and more. The parade begins at 7 p.m. in the lower main parking lot and will work its way up Main Street. The parade will end in front of the Silverado Casino on upper Main Street. The public is encouraged to walk along the route and participate in all the fun. Prizes will be awarded to the best costume at the Silverado-Franklin, at the end of the parade route.

All the way from Denver, Colo., “Curley Taylor 7 & the Zydeco Trouble” will perform from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort.

Saturday, February 21st
Open container will be allowed on Main Street from Four Aces to the Masonic Temple from 5 p.m. till 10 p.m.

Cajun Cook-Off – Deadwood’s annual Cajun Cook-Off takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at soon to be named locations. A public tasting will take place with small donations encouraged for a local charity.

1st Annual Mardi Gras Cake Decorating Contest – Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall from 2 p.m. till 4 p.m. Contact the Deadwood/Lead Arts Council at 584-1461 for more information.

Deadwood’s Annual Mardi Gras Parade – The annual parade will begin at 7 p.m., running up historic Main Street. Over 50,000 sets of beads will be thrown along the parade route.

“Curley Taylor 7 & the Zydeco Trouble” will perform from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall.

Parade Entries! It’s time to sign up for the Mardi Gras parades! Participation is open to everyone, it’s free and anything goes, so long as your float, vehicle, wagon, bike, or whatever you decide to decorate, is lit. The Saturday evening parade draws nearly 15,000 spectators annually, and it’s a great opportunity to showcase your business, or your individuality. You are also welcome to participate in Friday’s parade, which is a people’s parade where floats for Saturday night are welcome, as are people simply walking down Deadwood’s Main Street.

Line-up for each night’s parade begin at 6:15 p.m., with the procession beginning at 7 p.m. The parades will finish by 8 p.m. each evening.

All entrants in the parade are eligible to win over $1,500 in prize money.

Enter today by calling the Chamber at 578-1876 or email event coordinator Sarah Anderson at

Cajun Cook-off! Think you got the touch for Cajun cuisine? Register your property for the 2009 Mardi Gras Cajun Cook-Off! Open to all businesses and restaurants/executive chefs Deadwood-wide, this year’s cook-off will be held Saturday, Feb. 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Chamber will provide each participating business with a box for small donations. All donations will go to the Deadwood Recreation Center for its summer programs.

However, the winners are determined by anonymous judges. These judges will taste all of the dishes and will judge the creations on a variety of factors, including authenticity, presentation and overall taste. The judge’s votes will determine the winners.

Businesses should plan to prepare a minimum of 400, one-ounce samples of each dish.

Call the Chamber at 578-1876 to register or email Sarah Anderson at

1st Annual Mardi Gras Cake Contest! Dazzle Deadwood with your cake decorating talent! The 1st Annual Mardi Gras Cake Contest will be held on Saturday, Feb. 21 at the Lucky Nugget Gambling Hall.

Cakes need to be decorated to tie in to Mardi Gras 2009 theme; they must be homemade and must be edible and they must be in a disposable container. They are also asking that no ice cream cakes be entered.

All cakes need to be brought to the Lucky Nugget on Main Street in Deadwood between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Judging will begin at 2 p.m. and winners will be announced at 4 p.m. The contest is open to everyone and participants will be divided into two categories – amateur and professional. There will be 3 winners in each category – Best presentation, best representation and most original. Winners will receive cash and ribbons.

To enter, contact Karen Everett at the Lead/Deadwood Arts Council at 584-1461. Deadline to enter is February 20th.