It is Mardi Gras time! Time for King Cake…Time for Parades…and Time for Floats and Masked Strangers. The Carriage House has a front seat to all of this with the parades floating right by the front porch. Our guests will kick back, relax and enjoy all of the festivities right from the center of it all…Downtown Jefferson’s Historic Riverfront District.
Another Mardi Gras weekend has come and gone. Much fun was had by everyone who attended. After three parades, many bands, and countless beads thrown, another carnival season has come and gone. Please enjoy these pictures!!
Jefferson will celebrate the 2013 Mardi Gras Season, February 8-10th. Come enjoy all of the festivities at one of Texas’s oldest Mardi Gras celbrations. There will be bandstands set up all over the Historic Riverfront District, beer gardens, Mardi Gras parties and vendors. The Carriage House Bed and Breakfast is on both Saturday’s Grand Parade and Sunday’s Children’s Parade route. Come watch all of the celebrations right from our wrap-around porch. We’ll save you a piece of King Cake!!
If you are still looking for a room, call us at 903-665-9511
It ain’t easy being an innkeeper. The hours are long and the laundry never seems to end. There is always one room that needs to be cleaned or needs some sort of repair. You live your life in a constant state of being one project behind where you should be.
However, there are some real pluses to the job. We LOVE our guests (really do!). We get to experiment in the kitchen a lot (not always with good results) and we get to live in a beautiful old home full of stories and charm. One of the other big pluses to the job is drinking awesome coffee…every morning.
I did not realize that I had become a coffee snob until last week.
Tom and I went to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) Innkeeping show in Little Rock, AR. It was awesome!! I got to see some friends I only see once a year and learn some amazing cool things (watch for some new stuff to come).
However, the coffee in the hotel and at the show was AWFUL. I mean really AWFUL!! I mean rot gut! Blech!!
We have been ordering our coffee from a roaster in Shreveport called Jelks Coffee for some time now. We change the flavors for the season and order whole bean so that we grind fresh coffee every morning. Right now we are working our way through Mardi Gras/ Valentines Day flavors. We drink what the guests drink and I forgot what bad coffee tastes like. YUCK!!
We spent a lot of time at this year’s show talking about why bed and breakfasts are a “Better Way to Stay” then hotels. Well here is one reason. We will NEVER serve you a bad cup of coffee ever and we will ALWAYS serve your coffee in a fabulous mug (think a Deneen Pottery Mug) not a Styrofoam cup.
A good cup of coffee to start the day really does make us a Better Way to Stay!!
It is hard to believe but Mardi Gras is only but a few weeks away and Jefferson is already getting it’s green, gold, and purple on. Even the Carriage House is decorated in it’s holiday finery!
Jefferson, Texas being an old riverport town where paddlewheelers out of New Orleans would dock, has it’s very own Krewe…the Krewe of Hebe. Mardi Gras will be a weekend of parades, live music, and parties.
If you need something to whet your appetite for all of this year’s fun, check out the video from last year’s Mardi Gras Upriver above.
The good times came rolling in and then they rolled out.
The 2011 Mardi Gras weekend went by fast…too fast. Now the parades, the parties and the bands are all just a blurry memory of a crazy weekend. The street sweepers have been by already this morning and vacuumed up all of the beads and dobloons laying in the streets and the port-a-potties are now gone. The bandstands have been broken down and put away for another year. The parade floats have returned to the Krewe of Hebe garage and the carneys and food vendors have all moved on to the next big event. The little town of Jefferson is beginning to return to normal. The air is no longer electrified with Mardi Gras excitement. Today seems quiet and ordinary. It is just a Monday after all, no more and no less.
The Marshall News Messenger reported that 30,000 people packed into town this weekend. That could be true. The streets were definitely filled with revelers. Restaurants were full and the beer gardens were packed. We had some amazing bands playing at the different band stands throughout Jefferson’s Historic Riverfront District. If you want to know what you missed this weekend, check out the video below.
Historically, Mardi Gras has been celebrated in Jefferson, Texas going all the way back into the 19th century, due to the city’s cultural ties with New Orleans via the waterways of the Big Cypress Bayou and the Red River. History has handed down numerous stories of the parties thrown in Jefferson and some of the most notorious appear in area newspapers of the day. Many of the society writers of thetime noted the galas, including the Queen Mab Ball, held in Jefferson, and other events thrown aboard boats that plied the waterways between Jefferson, Texas and Shreveport, Louisiana.
Today the tradition continues and Jefferson still throws one of the biggest Mardi Gras parties around.
People book their rooms a year in advance so that they can get a chance to celebrate New Orleans style in East Texas. The Carriage House Bed and Breakfast is one of the most popular places to stay since the parades come right in front of the house. Our guests enjoy sitting on the front porch and watching the celebration roll down Polk Street. If you haven’t booked a room for next year, you need to do so soon. The hotels and bed & breakfasts in town are already filling up for next year’s event. The Carriage House B&B is already full but we can add you to our wait list.
The joke here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast is that we don’t consider it Mardi Gras until the Port-a-Potties show up. So right on time this morning, the Port-a-Potties were delivered in grand style to our parking lot. Now it feels like Mardi Gras!! A great big Thank You to the Krewe of Hebe for providing us with this convenience.
You can’t help but notice as your drive around town this week that Jefferson is beginning to gear up for some thing really big. There is a feel and impression of busy preparation everywhere you go. Vendors are beginning to set up down at the bayou and trash cans are being set up all over town. Street cleaners are out vacuuming the streets and the Sysco and beer trucks seem to be everywhere. It is beginning to feel a lot like Mardi Gras…everywhere you go.
Last night, Tom and I went to Auntie Skinners for dinner. It was Tuesday night steak night after all. We had the opportunity to sit down with some of the folks on the Krewe of Hebe and talk to them about all of the Mardi Gras planning that is being finished up these last few days. I am not sure that these people are going to get any sleep between now and Sunday night. There has been a phenomenal amount of work that has already been done but now it is crunch time and so much has to be finished up in the few days leading up to the big party.
Myself, I am going to the grocery store today and will begin my food prep for this weekend. My plan is to prepare as much as possible in advance and have it waiting for the weekend in the freezer. I am also planning on making a King Cake for the guests that are staying here. We will have it sitting out on the front porch for everyone to enjoy. So as you can tell there is a ton of work and busy preparation going on here at the Carriage House as well.
Tom and I made a quick trip back to Dallas first part of this week so that we could make a presentation about our Photography Weekends to the Plano Photography Club. I went into a little bit of a culture shock. No one had a Mardi Gras tree up. There were no ads or billboards for King Cakes. There were no beads for sale in the stores. It is almost as if Mardi Gras doesn’t exist outside of this little New Orleans influenced bubble that I live in.
If you are planning on coming out for the Mardi Gras Upriver celebrations this weekend, you will need to plan a day trip or look for a hotel room in Marshall. All of the hotels, motels and Bed & Breakfast in Jefferson are completely full. I have also heard that all of the lodging in Uncertain is full as well. We will open up our calendar for reservations for next year’s Mardi Gras this coming Monday, March 7th. You can call us at 903-665-9511 to make your reservation.
It is almost here. The biggest party of the year…Mardi Gras! It is going to be a weekend of fun, parades, parties and food. Mardi Gras gives us all the opportunity to get our wild and crazy on before the somberness of Lent hits.
Here in Jefferson, we celebrate the green, gold, and purple… Texas style . There will be three parades, a carnival, food vendors, arts and crafts, and live music along with fun, frivolity and zany events during this 3-day celebration. Friday evening, we kick off Mardi Gras with the Doo Dah Parade along the brick streets of Jefferson’s Historic Riverfront District. Saturday features a Grand Parade with colorful floats, marching bands and more. Sunday allows the kiddos to get in on the action with a Children’s Parade.
One of the benefits of having a B&B in downtown Jefferson is that the Grand Parade and the Children’s Parade come right by the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast. So our guests can enjoy the parades from the comfort of our front porch. There aren’t any rooms left in town but if you are close by you can still make a day trip and celebrate Jefferson’s history during this colorful and entertaining event.