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The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Students celebrate a night in Mardi Gras 

Kimberly Carroll
Night Party hosted in the university ballroom of the Union by the University Board hosted. Thursday February 8, 2024.

Mardi Gras started in 1699 when it was first celebrated by French explorers who claimed the Louisiana Territory. It is now celebrated in anticipation of spring.  

As the historic Mardi Gras holiday approaches, the members of Eastern’s university board organized an event that reflected the Mardi Gras way.  

“I love Mardi Gras. Hopefully one day I will actually get to go in person,” said Crystal Spearman, a sophomore criminal justice major.  

As a member of the student government Diversity Committee, Spearman said she is familiar with events like this where everyone from different backgrounds comes together. 

“This event would be really fun to bring everybody in, especially like during Black history month,” said Melanie Robinson, a sophomore and university board marketing member. “I feel like it’s good to bring in everybody. The whole school; the whole campus.”  

Robinson said her favorite thing about Mardi Gras is the food.  

The university board said they wanted to host a Mardi Gras event for a way to diversify Eastern’s campus. 

“Culture outsiders who don’t understand Black culture in some aspects, it brings them a sense of how Black culture is celebrated,” said Mikeya Carbins, a sophomore biological sciences major.  

Senior English major Dd Patterson said, “It just brings different part of somebody’s culture. Its easy access for other people, and they could experience a little bit even if it’s here in Charleston.”   

The celebration embodied all that is Mardi Gras. The event incorporated live jazz music, festive masks, stilt walking, the well-known Mardi Gras dishes and even a few Mardi Gras traditions such as the king cake with the hidden plastic baby that is meant to symbolize baby Jesus buried in a hidden slice.  

“I didn’t know about the colors, the beads, and I didn’t know about the gumbo, king cake, but it was fun to learn about,” Robinson said.  


 Kimberly Carroll can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]. 

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