Don’t worry, ‘bead’ happy at Mardi Gras Mambo

By Breanne Pittman

Lincoln Parish residents can experience the sights and sounds of a New Orleans’ Mardi Gras here in the heart of Ruston.

Louisiana Tech’s Union Board is hosting the third annual Mardi Gras Mambo at 6 p.m. today at the Argent Pavilion.

The parade is set to take place on Bulldog Drive and circle around Joe Aillet Stadium.

The first Mardi Gras Mambo was in winter quarter of 2021. Co-committee head Cade Jordan shares that since Mardi Gras Mambo’s debut, the event has only continued to grow.

“For the last two years, Union Board has planned Mardi Gras Mambo, and each year it has progressively gotten larger,” Jordan said. “Last year was the first year we had an actual parade, and this year is the first year that we have a Mardi Gras Court.”

Maggie Borstel serves alongside Jordan as the Mardi Gras Mambo committee head, and they have been working with their committee for the past year preparing to bring a taste of New Orleans to the streets of Ruston.

“We chose to do this event again this year because students have enjoyed getting to learn more about Louisiana culture and take part in Mardi Gras, which most students normally wouldn’t get to experience,” Bortsel said.

After seeing so much success over the past two years, Mardi Gras Mambo is coming back double its size with opportunities for all of the community.

“We have increased the amount of participation by a little more than double from last year, totaling almost 30 different organizations that have signed up to do floats or participate,” Jordan said.

Both Bortsel and Jordan are most excited that this gives a way for Louisiana Tech students to be involved and give back to the Ruston community.

“There is not an annual Mardi Gras parade in the city of Ruston so this is our way of giving back to the community and allowing everyone to experience a portion of the great culture that Louisiana has to offer,” Jordan said.

Committee member Collins Walker said this is one of Union Board’s best events.

“Something exciting about the event is that the entire event is completely free,” Walker said. “There will be plenty of games, prizes, music and good times overall.”

Additional flairs include ordering throws all the way from Lafayette, free t-shirts for Tech students and a featured guest, the world’s fastest caricature artist, Adam Pate.