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The French Club “let the good times roll” by hosting a Mardi Gras Party

By Julia Sayers

Image courtesy of mypartyplanner.com

The French Club is hosting a Mardi Gras party on Fat Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. where students can make masks, play games and even enjoy some French Food.

Mardi Gras, which is French for “Fat Tuesday,” is part of the Carnival celebration, a festive season that occurs before Lent. Traditionally, people would feast on Fat Tuesday because they were getting ready to fast until Easter. Today, Mardi Gras is associated with parties, beads, masks and celebrating.

“We celebrate Mardi Gras in America, especially New Orleans, but most people don’t realize it’s French,” said French Professor Sarah Glasco.

The French Club’s Mardi Gras will be held in the French House, Colonnades A, Second Floor. There will be Cajun music and students will have the opportunity to design their own masks by gluing beads, sequins and feathers onto plain masks. In terms of food, there will be a King’s Cake, a traditional Mardi Gras cake with a plastic figure hidden in it that one person will find.  There will also be food typical of French culture such as cheese, baguettes, Nutella and other various things.

Partygoers can win Mardi Gras beads by answering trivia questions about Francophone culture. All communication will be in English though, so students don’t have to speak French to be able to participate. The language aspect will come in with the decorations. Glasco said they are considering putting paper on the wall for people to write French phrases on, such as “laissez les bon temps rouler” which is literally translated as “let the good times roll.” This phrase is used mainly in Cajun French and is often associated with Mardi Gras celebrations.

“We thought this party was an accessible way to expose the Elon community to Francophone culture,” Glasco said. “We’re just really trying to increase exposure of French and we’re hoping that doing something like this will help.”

The idea for a Mardi Gras party was developed by three officers of the French Club, Kirsten Haugsted, Christie Goyette and Erica Edmondson.

“They’ve really taken the reins and gone full speed ahead,” Glasco said. “I help when they need advice but they’ve been planning it all.”

Haugsted, president of the club, and Goyette, treasurer, are both freshmen. Edmondson, publicity chair, is a senior.

“It was a collaborative effort,” said Haugsted. “It’s so simple to do because it’s about having fun and being alive and celebrating that.”

Next year the club is hoping to make the Mardi Gras party a university wide event.

“If we start planning early enough, we’d like to do something like a masquerade ball,” Glasco said.

In addition to the fun and games, the French Club is considering showing a PowerPoint presentation on its service project. Members of the club and French House volunteer with the Avalon Center in Greensboro, N.C., a community of mostly African Francophone refugees.

“It’s really great that we’re able to help this local community that is specific to us because they speak French,” Glasco said.

The Club hopes to raise awareness and show the significance of thinking globally but acting locally.

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Written by juliasayers

March 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

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