Mardi Gras comes to ‘First Friday’


In the spirit of celebrating the 2013 Vevay-Switzerland County Bicentennial, Vevay Main Street has selected ‘First Friday’ themes so as to remember events from Vevay’s past and commemorate the county’s Swiss heritage.

“Mardi Gras”, the theme for January’s ‘First Friday’, was celebrated by Vevay citizens not according to the religious calendar but at the start of the New Year. As explained by Julia Knox in an article written for the Indiana Magazine of History in September of 1915:

Vevay has a custom peculiar to herself, the origin of which we have been unable to trace, and that is the Mardi Gras celebration of New Year and New Year’s eve. The citizens, chiefly the younger and livelier (but often even the older and more dignified join in the sport) masked and dressed in all sorts of grotesque costumes, call from house to house. No one remembers when this began nor how it began.


On January 4th, ‘First Friday’ participants are encouraged to visit local businesses in the historic business district where tickets will be given to those wearing masks and/or costumes.

Tickets deposited at the Visitors Center before 9 p.m. will be entered in a drawing for a pair of tickets to the 2013 Flair for Wine (worth $120). The drawing will take place at the May 3rd ‘First Friday’ event.

Since 2008, Vevay Main Street has hosted a monthly ‘First Friday’ event. January through December, rain or shine, the event offers a free evening where the community and visitors alike gather to enjoy local art, carriage rides, the company of others and a surprise or two. In the warmer months, the downtown comes alive with live entertainment.

For more information regarding ‘First Friday’ activities or participation, contact Michele Thompson, Program Manager, at 427-9406.