Get your beads, celebrate Mardi Gras on the Salt River - East Valley Tribune: Outdoors

Get your beads, celebrate Mardi Gras on the Salt River

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Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:15 pm | Updated: 11:04 am, Tue Aug 21, 2012.

A summer gone without ample time spent on the water is, as my French-Louisianan great-grandmother used to say with her bayou accent, a “tra-jah-dey”. Once temperatures fall too low to dip a toe, it is a bit of a downer — that those lazy hours at the lake or river have passed you by.

Salt River Tubing is offering an excuse to get wet this weekend — before the routines of fall and a new school year overtake you — with its annual Mardi Gras Magic event.

The tubing outfitter will supply the party atmosphere, doling out free beads to all comers and free tubing passes to floaters who show up in the best purple, green and gold Mardi Gras get-ups. Even SRT’s shuttle buses will be decorated for a little Cajun-themed camaraderie.

But if making your way downriver amid a floatilla of revelers isn’t your thing, SRT is open daily, and weekdays and Sundays are tamer times to lay back and let the water do the work.

You can also look up Saguaro Lake Ranch, just upriver at 13020 N. Bush Highway. It rents kayaks starting at 8 a.m., putting you in the water ahead of waves of tubers. Reach the ranch at (480) 984-2194 or

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