Cajun spirit and mountain musicals

Fun festivals and live music are once again the name of the game at Panorama Mountain Village in the coming weeks.

Ski Bum: The Musical comes to Panorama as part of the Great Hall Series during the Mardi Gras Festival.

Ski Bum: The Musical comes to Panorama as part of the Great Hall Series during the Mardi Gras Festival.

Fun festivals and live music are once again the name of the game at Panorama Mountain Village in the coming weeks.

First, as a celebration of family day, Panorama will be holding a Family Day Great Hall buffet, followed by a fireworks display at 9 p.m. on Saturday, February 18. Make sure to not eat too much though, because the buffet and fireworks should merely serve as an appetizer to the launch of the brand-new Great Hall Live Series. The new series will open with a special performance by Shawn Verrault of Wide Mouth Mason and Wil Mimnaugh of ibreakstrings.com the following nights, February 19 and 20 at 8:30 p.m.

“We’ve decided to start branding these live events we do at the Great Hall, and put them under one umbrella,” Jamie Hurschler, marketing co-ordinator at Panorama said. “This Great Hall Live Series brings great musical talent, and it gets people really excited.”

The shows are all-ages events, and are being described as “unique soulful rock sounds.”

Tickets are $20 each and are available at either Panorama’s guest services or by calling 1-800-663-2929.

“It’s a really special set that they’re doing,” Hurschler said. “The Great Hall Live Series really ties all these events together, especially as we have more of these types of concerts over the rest of the season and moving into the summer.”

Panorama has no plans to let off the gas either, as the very next weekend, from February 24 to 26, the second of Panorama’s four themed festivals, Panorama Mardi Gras gets officially underway.

Following a similar format as the popular Snowflake Festival a few weeks ago, Mardi Gras kicks off with free tobogganing and free hot chocolate on Friday night from 4 to 9 p.m. There will also be a Torchlight parade taking place that same night at 8 p.m., in a slight departure from the Snowflake festival’s schedule.

“Mardi Gras is a great festival because there is a lot of excitement that happens with it,” Hurschler said.

“It really has the opportunity to pull people out and have them enjoy the Cajun style of life, and have some fun in the snow. It’s still winter up here, and we’re having fun, and this is a great opportunity for families to come out and have some fun with us.”

On Saturday Mardi Gras continues in earnest with a full complement of festive activities and carnival games along with themed dining and food stations.

All the while there will be more live music at the Great Hall, and free souvenir family photos as well. Then, on Saturday night, the Syndicate Rail Jam gives sports enthusiasts a chance to show off their skills before Ski Bum: The Musical hits the stage at the Great Hall at 8 p.m.

Ski Bum: The Musical “is a character-driven, seasonal-inspired homage to the dirtbags, debutantes, lurkers and posers constantly in search of bottomless powder snow,” according to the show’s website. “A musical comedy that pokes fun of musical theatre while highlighting the trials and tribulations faced by a variety of mountain lovers. Mountain culture amplified by song, dance and story.”

Tickets are $15 per person and are available by calling 1-800-663-2929. Limited tickets are available.

Following the performance, there will also be a DJ and dance party inside the Great Hall.

Throughout the Mardi Gras weekend, those attending are encouraged to have their festival passports stamped at each activity station, for a chance to be entered in a draw to win a special two-day vacation. Hurschler also added that the festival is open to all valley residents.

“At Panorama we really invite people to come up from the community to enjoy themselves and have some fun at the festivals,” Hurschler said. “We want people to come up for the day, enjoy the festivals and music, and have some fun skiing. Even if you’re not fond of skiing you can come up and have a great time because there is so much going on at the village. I just love seeing people out having fun—I love the atmosphere of people enjoying themselves.”

For more information, visit panoramaresort.com.