Mardi Gras Celebration


Kristina Aiad-Toss

Senior Amanda Palmer, left, and junior Lauaren Thompson, right, at last Wednesday’s event.

By Preston Davis, Writer

Mardi Gras, French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a celebration that occurs before the fasting of Lent. Traditionally, the festivities culminate on Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.

Zips Programming Network hosted a Mardi Gras party for families of non-traditional students on Wednesday, Feb. 10 in the Student Union Ballroom.

Samantha King, a third-year social science major, organized the event, describing it as a Mardi Gras festival with family-themed activities. The party allowed families of students to participate in on-campus activities and to cultivate a sense of community among non-traditional students, their families, and The University of Akron.

The Mardi Gras party is new for 2016 on the ZPN event list.

Featured activities included mask making, crayon drawing, and instrument building. Although the activities may have seemed as if they were geared toward children, many college students found the party a relaxing retreat from class work.

Alan Plassard, a senior photography student, was happy to put crayon to paper. “[Coloring] has a therapeutic value,” Plassard said from behind a purple, green, and gold masquerade-styled disguise. “It’s not just for kids. Adult coloring books are catching on.”

The mask-making area had an assortment of high-quality masks to choose from and decorate. Additions included feathers, paint, and glitter glue.

Cody Collins, a senior emergency management student, was excited to make a mask. Collins was lured to the event by the universal college student attraction: free food. ZPN provided chicken tenders, Mardi Gras themed sugar cookies, water, and soda.

Attendees could also enjoy Disney’s children movie “The Princess and the Frog,” which played on a large projector. The animated film is set in New Orleans and the cartoon cast is primarily black.

King felt it was a good movie to play during Black History Month, and that the locale of the film fit with the Mardi Gras theme.

To see what else ZPN has planned for the rest of the semester, visit