People having fun at Mardi Gras in Concrete

Why would a little town in the Pacific Northwest have a Mardi Gras celebration? We are, after all, only 2,665 miles from New Orleans.

The answer lies in the excellent nature of our residents – people who care about their community and one another.

Map showing distance between Concrete and New Orleans

You’ve heard of “cabin fever,” right? This time of year, you can go for days or weeks without seeing your friends and neighbors. By February, we’re all ready to get out and have fun, even if it is cold.

So, on the Saturday before the official Fat Tuesday in New Orleans, we gather in Town Center to celebrate the Mardi Gras tradition.

It is a tradition! Mardi Gras in Concrete is in its 16th year.

This year, the event takes place on Saturday, February 10, and has a slightly crazy theme (because that’s what Mardi Gras is about). We’re celebrating fungi! Mushrooms, molds, lichen… any old eukaryotic microorganism.

You could come dressed as one and join the Mardi Gras parade at 3:00 p.m. If you’re a professional fungi expert, you could set up a booth in Town Center and share your knowledge or sell your products.

Or you could simply enjoy the parade, music, and food and then attend the Fungi Film Festival at the Concrete Theatre in Town Center. Admission is $5, with proceeds benefiting the Concrete Saturday Market.

There’s also a Fungi Photo Contest, with an entry deadline of February 5 at 5 p.m. Photos can be posted on the Concrete Chamber of Commerce Facebook page (

One entry per person, please.

Announcing Gretchen Hewitt as queen

Unrelated to mushrooms, although we bet she likes them, Gretchen Hewitt has been named Queen of this year’s Mardi Gras in Concrete. She was selected as royalty because of her community spirit and generous volunteerism. Gretchen is a music teacher who has inspired the love of music in children and adults.

Mardi Gras in Concrete is held regardless of the weather; in fact, our most memorable celebrations have been held in the snow. Be sure to check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.

We’re proud to say we have one of the region’s only family-friendly Mardi Gras celebrations. We’re also proud that it’s received funding from Skagit County.

What’s holding you back? Concrete is probably a good deal closer to you than New Orleans!

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