UPB brings Mardi Gras to MSU

Michaella O'Brien

students decorate their masks at UPB Mardi Gras event
Diana MArtinez, criminal justice freshman, (left) and Angelica Bustos, nursing freshman, (right) said that the mask decorating table was their favorite part of the event.

A Night in New Orleans, hosted by University Programming Board, provided students a place to celebrate Mardi Gras with free food, music and entertainment from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Feb. 28 in the Legacy Multipurpose Room. This was the first time the UPB held this event.

“My friend sent me the flyer and we decided to come,” Beatriz Gonzalez, respiratory care senior, said. “I have never celebrated Mardi Gras. This is the closest I’ve come in experience to something like it.”

The room filled up quickly and soon there was limited seating for students. Savannah Luna, nursing junior and UPB late night weekend chair, said she didn’t know how many people to expect.

“In my mind I’m always thinking everyone’s gonna come, but in reality you always have to think no one’s going to come,” Luna said. “I’m pretty pleased with the turnout.”

New Orleans is known for throwing a very large Mardi Gras celebration. The city traditionally incorporates large parades as well as those who attend wear intricate costumes or the classic Mardi Gras colors green, purple and gold. One tradition brought to the celebration on campus was King Cake.

“I only came for the King Cake,” Ashly Acevedo, respiratory care junior, said. “I probably celebrated in high school but it wasn’t a real experience. My French teacher made it seem like it was for us.”

The festivities at UPB’s event included classic food, upbeat music, crowning of the king and queen, mask decorating, a photo booth and a cake eating competition.

“Many students like to hear that there will be free food,” Terria Borden-Henderson, psychology junior, said. “I like when they have crafts.”

One of the more popular things at the event was the mask-decorating table as people surrounded it for the chance to make their own mask. People were able to decorate a mask with all kinds of craft supplies. Martinez and Bustos (pictured right) both said that they came for the party but stayed for the crafts.

“Anything artistic is my favorite,” Bustos said as she decorated her mask with glitter and feathers.While the event was new this year, Luna said some are already excited for next year.

“Some people have already told me that they can’t wait until next year,” Luna said. “It’s a fun event that helps relieve some stress during the hectic life that is our school.”

To get the event put on the university calendar it had to be planned at least a month in advance.

“We started when we got back to school because you need to submit it a month in advance to get it on the calendar,” Luna said. “We always have to fill out programming sheets and other forms for our event. All of that has to be done before it is put on the calendar.”

Additional reporting by Brittany Hill