UTSA community invited to Rowdy Gras March 4 at UC Denman Room

Rowdy Gras

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(March 2, 2014) -- Rowdy Gras – a new UTSA version of New Orleans' Mardi Gras -- will be celebrated 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday, March 4 in the University Center Denman Room (2.01.28) at the Main Campus. The UTSA community is invited to celebrate the rich culture and customs of our Louisiana neighbors.

There will be live New Orleans jazz, free t-shirts, free authentic Creole/Cajun food, beads, masks, face painting and more. Meet at Sombrilla Plaza at 11:45 a.m. and join in the parade to the University Center, alongside jazz musicians and other party-goers.

"Mardi Gras, or Carnival, is a celebration held worldwide, and our goal is to experience and enjoy customs that others hold dear. We hope that it will grow into an annual UTSA tradition," says Herb Ganey, interim director of the University Center and New Orleans native.

The UTSA event is a collaboration of the University Center, Student Center for Inclusion and Community Engagement, Black Student Union and University Center Program Council.

Mardi Gras began as the yearly celebration of Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent, where Catholics have their last opportunity to enjoy the things they will give up for the next 40 days. Over the years, the event became a tradition enjoyed by persons of all faiths and cultures, and attracts nearly a million tourists to New Orleans each year.

The largest Mardi Gras carnival is the Carnaval in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, with an estimated two million participants per day during the few days leading up to Fat Tuesday. Other cities with famous Mardi Gras celebrations are: Mobile, Ala.; Barranquilla, Colombia; Quebec City, Canada; and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

In New Orleans, festivities begin several weeks before Fat Tuesday and include parades, balls, carnivals and many other events. Traditions include throwing beads and other trinkets to parade-goers, holding King Cake parties, and wearing colorful costumes and masks.