RSC Mardi Gras parades its way to campus

Carina Snow

Assistant Editor


Mardi Gras is coming to campus with a parade, mask contests, live jazz music and free southern-style food on March 4.

A penny drive between student clubs and staff associations to elect king and queen of carnival, a Mardi Gras tradition, began Feb. 27 at the Student Activities Office.

Only pennies count as a vote for a club; all silver change or paper money counts as a vote against that club. All proceeds will benefit the Rose State College Foundation.

The parade begins shortly after noon in the main dining hall of the Student Center, where a live band will play throughout the event, and refreshments including sausage, red beans and rice, cupcakes, and punch provided by Chartwell’s Food Service will be available.

A Dixie-style jazz band will lead the parade, which will move through buildings around campus, summoning professors, students, and staff of the college to join in the festivities. Parade-goers can expect to be thrown candy, beads, and other Mardi Gras goodies.

Still life photo of New Orleans  themed items including masks, beads, and even a gator head.

A mask contest will be held at the first Mardi Gras event ever held at RSC on March 4. The event takes place in the main dining hall of the Student Center from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. where participants can enjoy live music, free food and a parade. (Photo illustration by Carina Snow and Melissa Bednarek)

A mask contest, which will be voted on via D2L, will award students, faculty, and staff with prizes in two separate contests. Traditional Mardi Gras masks, as well as hand-crafted creations, are eligible.

Balloon Bouquets, consisting of three Mardi Gras-colored (traditionally green, purple, and gold) balloons, one party mask, one party horn, a derby hat, and three beaded necklaces are available to faculty and staff for $5.

Crystal Myers, RSC Information Technology Services support assistant, said the Faculty Association, Professional/Administrative Staff Association, Classified Staff Association, President’s Office and Student Senate collaborated to make Mardi Gras at RSC possible.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had an event like this on campus,” Myers said.

She explained that when the committees met to decide what seasonal event could provide the most enjoyment for the entire campus, Mardi Gras stuck out because it is a lively, fun occasion that has never before been officially celebrated at RSC.

“We really want to share an event that we all can come together on,” Myers said.

“We are going to go out with the Jazz band marching through the buildings…picking people up as we go. We are going to be tossing beads and candy and just making a racket,” she said.

Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday” in French, is a festival of merriment, food, and excess that represents the day before the beginning of the Catholic Lenten fast on Ash Wednesday.

Many Christians regard Lent as a time of repentance, moderation, and spiritual discipline in preparation for the Easter holiday, according to, so Mardi Gras serves as an indulgence before the 40-day fast.

The New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition is reputed to have begun when French explorer Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville arrived in North America on the day France was celebrating Mardi Gras.

To honor his native country, d’Iberville named the site of his camp, roughly 60 miles south of New Orleans, “Point du Mardi Gras,” according to




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