Old-style New Orleans

The Shorthorn: Jeff Limbacher Political science senior Tamara Benson tests out her new mask Tuesday at the Mardi Gras celebration. Students made masks free of charge. A three-piece band, food, King Cakes and a crawfish-eating contest were also featured.

Organizers say no bones about it: Fat Tuesday celebration a success

by Sally Claunch

Special to The Shorthorn

Music sophomore Steven Westhydeman said he saw the signs for Mardi Gras Madness and wanted to see what was going on. "I always liked the whole Mardi Gras thing; it's usually a pretty fun party," he said. ARAMARK food service, Burger King, Centennial Court apartments, Housing and University Activities and EX-CEL campus activities played host to Mardi Gras Madness on Tuesday in the University Center Palo Duro Lounge. EX-CEL threw the party to celebrate Fat Tuesday, traditionally the last day of decadence before Lent. The event had a jazz band, cajun food and a parade in honor of the holiday. There were also contests and prizes. Susan English, associate director for student activities, said approximately 250-300 people attended. "I am pleased with the turn-out," she said. The Gerald Ingram Trio played jazz music as people ate cajun food. "I really never had any stuff like this before," said business administration freshman Jessica Priebe as she licked her fingers, covered with hot sauce from chicken wings. "I really like it." Linguistics graduate student Monte Mugrage said he liked the jazz music. "I do like jazz. They are a good combo you can tell they've been playing together for a long time," he said. EX-CEL members paraded throughout the UC and around campus handing out beads and candy. Mechanical engineering sophomore Terrence Johnson was dressed as a clown for the parade. "I just wanted to spread the Mardi Gras spirit," the EX-CEL member said as he handed out Tootsie Rolls and caramels. Greg "G-reg" Gibbins and Dan "Electra" Galitz came to the event from KISS 106.1 FM to emcee the event and give

out T-shirts, foam can holders, pens and Taco Bell coupons. KISS held a Simon Says-type of contest called "G-reg Says." Psychology sophomore Beneca Henson won the contest by patting her head and rubbing her stomach simultaneously. Her prize was a KISS T-shirt. "I entered the contest because I wanted the T-shirt," she said. Civil engineering sophomore Bob Watson juggled "gravity sticks" with a jester's hat on his head to entertain the people entered in the Centennial Court mask decorating contest. The entries were judged by English, Scott Blackwell, assistant director of Greek life, and Laurelyn Gaede, assistant director of housing and University Center for residence life and operation. The first prize winner of the contest, Amanda Small, a sophomore accounting major, won a $50 gift certificate to The Parks mall. A crawfish-eating contest was held with two heats of 12 contestants each. The winner was determined by whoever could finish 11 crawfish on their plates first. As information systems sophomore Joseph Rigsby finished his plate of crawfish, he had red shells and white meat on his face and hands. He finished his plate in 11 seconds flat, won first place and received a $50 dollar gift certificate to The Parks mall. "I've been eating crawfish now for 12 years," Rigsby said, "I'm good at it."