Rowdy Gras is the UC’s celebration of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras. It will be an opportunity for the entire UTSA community to experience the rich culture and customs of our neighbors in Louisiana, and to have fun while doing it.
“The purpose is to enrich our students by immersing them into cultures from other areas of the country and world. 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 UC, and New Orleans native.
Mardi Gras is the yearly celebration of Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent, where Catholics have their last opportunity to enjoy those things that they give up for the next 40 days. Over the years, though, it has transcended its beginnings as a Catholic-only event to become a time-honored tradition enjoyed by persons of all faiths and cultures, and attracts nearly a million tourists to New Orleans every 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, Alabama; 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.
Rowdy Gras will take place on March 4th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the UC Lawn between the Ximenes Garage and the HUC, and will have live New Orleans Jazz, free t-shirts, free authentic Creole/Cajun food, beads, masks, face painting, and more. Meet us at the Sombrilla at 11:45 and join in the parade to the UC Lawn alongside our jazz musicians and other party-goers.
Rowdy Gras is the result of a collaboration between the UC, Student Center for Inclusion and Community Engagement, Black Student Union, and UCPC.