Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


FAU Gets Mardified

After a huge victory for the Owls in last week’s basketball game against FIU, stadium members waltzed over to the Heritage Park Towers lawn. Many students were already munching on gumbo and spicy chicken. The bass beats of reggae tones blasted the campus, and Mardi Gras Festival FAU was under way.

The free event on the Boca campus included Creole foods such as Jumbalaya, Gumbo, Fried Chicken, Rice & Beans and King Cake for dessert. Students were entertained by music from the FAU World Music Ensemble, who played Batucada – a Brazilian street samba that’s traditional during carnival – Mike Brignola Combo, a jazz group and FAU Rock & Funk Ensemble. A fire juggler, who was stilt-walking through the crowd, was another attraction.

People paraded around the stage and gathered free food. Members of Student Government threw off 10,000 beads and t-shirts from the second floor of the housing office. The couple with the most beads at the end of the night was named Mardi Gras king and queen.

“There’s a lot of cultural food, and people are getting together and having fun.” Freshman pre-med major Leah Abrams said during the event. “It’s a great break from exams, and everyone loves free t-shirts.” Chief of the executive cabinet, Joe Adams, spoke from the heart about FAU’s first annual Mardi Gras Festival. “We used to run a Mardi Gras fundraiser for food baskets that helped out needy families,” Adams says. “These fundraisers were very successful and sometimes raised about $30,000.”

Volunteerism has always been a major part of Adams’ life. When he got involved with SG, he decided that an annual Mardi Gras party would be a great addition to FAU. “The event isn’t a fundraiser, but it’s a great way to start off the Spring Break for students.” Adams was the main planner for the celebration and thought of many of the event’s happenings. “With the help of Student Government, we are spending $2,500 so that students have a good time,” he said. It might not be Fat Tuesday, but it is at FAU. Adams on the choice for Feb. 28 said, “It’s a shame that we couldn’t have it on Fat Tuesday, but the Keys to Success overtook all the attention last week.”

Among the bands that performed at the FAU Mardi Gras were Ovadub and Batcuda. Batcuda is a reggae styled band that created lots of noise. In fact, “batcuda” in Portuguese means “noise.”

Ovadub plays at Kahuna’s Bar and Grill in Deerfield Beach every Sunday from 4-8 p.m. The band pumped out funky reggae grooves that were each unique in their own way. A cover of Sublime’s “Santeria” and some Marley songs also had the crowd moving.

Ovadub’s lead guitarist, Ron Eisner, says the group plays a lot of original Ernie Smith because their lead singer, Ojay Smith, is his son. The group hopes that their first record will be completed soon. “We’ve yet to finish, but you should check us out in Coyote Jacks during lunch here at FAU,” he said.

Whether students came to grab the free food, look at a bunch of crazy kids or catch some reggae tunes, they all left satisfied. SG Gov. Rakibur Joarder says, “It’s way more interactive with the students, I think it’s fun.”

If you missed the Mardi Gras jam this year, don’t worry. It’s going to be an annual event.

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