Eureka Springs, AR
Who we be
How Eureka Gras Mardi Gras got its Start!
by natives of New Orleans
Dan Ellis also came to Eureka Springs as an Evacuee from Pass Christian, Mississippi, a resort town of 5,000, which had only two Bed & Breakfast facilities, one barroom, three fine-dining establishments and less than a hand-full of ordinary eateries. One pharmacy, one optometrist, one chiropractor, two dentists, two lawyers’ offices, a dozen condo groupings, and a few gift and retail shops -- all enclosed within a double square-block-area, --- and a year-old Wal-Mart. There was one church for each of the major denominations. A third of the population was African American and 10% were Vietnamese.
The community survived through 300 years of history since 1699, beginning with control of the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast region by the French that was followed by British, and then Spanish influences before the Americans took hold in 1811.
Pass Christian had one municipal park and a magnificent coastal harbor which provided venues for monthly annual events that were staged by local heritage activists.
Hurricane Katrina destroyed all of that, including the newly renovated 3-story Acadian style home that was bordered by a bayou and the 11th hole of the golf course where Dan Ellis ruled for twelve years as an author of more than twenty cultural and heritage books.
Al Hooks, was also from Pass Christian. Each in his own way was active in organizations and events as were held on the Gulf Coast by adding a flair derived from many years in their hometown of New Orleans. In 2004, they pooled their talents to promote and organize the most successful Pass Christian Annual Jazz Festival to ever hit Mississippi. There were throngs crowding in attendance for that Mothers’ Day weekend.
After becoming reborn in the Ozarks, as so many before them, they were not shy about offering their experiences and talents to bring to Eureka Springs, a New Orleans style Mardi Gras.
Thus was born — the Krewe of Krazo!