Students who do not have the option of trekking all the way to New Orleans, or even just Galveston, to partake in Mardi Gras festivities are being offered a second option by SHSU. Tonight at the Lowman Student Center Ballroom Sam Houston State will host a Mardi Gras Dance.
Coordinated by Terry Thibodeaux, the Mardi Gras Dance will feature the proper decorations to fit the theme, as well as a live Cajun band. However, Thibodeaux said the dance is not trying to emulate Mardi Gras entirely.
“It is just a dance,” Thibodeaux said. “People can wear masks or beads if they like, but in the end, it’s just a casual dance.”
The music at the dance, which has a Cajun theme according to Thibodeaux, will be handled by the popular Cajun group, the Louisiana Jambalaya Band, headed by front man, fiddler Terry Huval.
Appearing with the band is famed Cajun music star D.L. Menard.
Menard, whose style shows some influence with early country music, has led him to be hailed in the past as the “Cajun Hank Williams.”
“He’s probably the most famous Cajun musician of all time,” Thibodeaux said.
Jason Wright, a junior political science major, said he thinks the dance is a good idea for those who can’t make it to Mardi Gras because of prior commitments.
“Some people can’t make it to Mardi Gras because of work, school, or lack of transportation,” Wright said. “The dance gives anyone with a hectic schedule the chance to enjoy some of the good stuff about Mardi Gras, without having to endure the parking, the throngs of people, or the price ticket of the real thing.”
Morgan Heier, a junior art major, said SHSU’s dance might even be better than the real thing.
“Have you ever been to Mardi Gras?” Heier said. “It just a bunch of drunken people stumbling around asking for beads. It is so packed, you can’t even move.”
Wright said he agreed the scene in New Orleans or Galveston is often overcrowded and disorganized, problems that likely won’t occur at SHSU.
“I’m sure that this dance will be more coordinated than the real Mardi Gras, which is definitely a plus,” Wright said.
Heier said an added bonus to celebrating Mardi Gras in Huntsville is that if students get bored, they can get home much more quickly.
“It’s not like Galveston where travel time is doubled because of traffic,” Heier said.
The SHSU Mardi Gras Dance will take place from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, tonight. For more information, please call 294-4902 or visit the LSC Ballroom’s information desk.