Freeland, students celebrate Mardi Gras

Freeland, students celebrate Mardi Gras

The scent of Cajun food, the sound of jazz horns and the throngs of students decked in green, gold and purple beads brought the spirit of New Orleans to life at Stetson East last night at the fourth annual President’s Late Night Mardi Gras Breakfast.

“It’s something to lift our spirits this time of year,” President Richard Freeland said. “It’s still a long way to spring and it’s a time to get together and have a good time.”

This was President Freeland’s last chance to wear Mardi Gras beads with students. He is retiring in August.

“It’s very sentimental,” he said. “It’s a great event, a wonderful tradition and it’s a chance to hang out with students. And it’s a night off.”

Freeland said he has seen a continuing improvement in the event throughout the years.

“Every year we take it to another level,” he said. “There’s more food, more prizes. It gets better and better, just like Northeastern.”

As bustling students eager to take part in the night’s festivities filled Levine Marketplace, they quickly headed over toward the food.

“I really like Cajun food, so I was like, ‘I’ve gotta come to the Mardi Gras breakfast,'” said Mike Pannone, a junior political science major.

His sentiments were echoed by freshman international business major Andrew Alpern.

“The crepes are money,” he said.

For others, the lively New Orleans atmosphere encouraged them to brave the cold weather and head to the decked-out dining hall.

“I love the decorations,” said Jennifer Saphier, a senior marketing major. “I’m impressed by how much they put into it.”

Deb Fantasia, director of Levine Marketplace and organizer of the annual event, was impressed by the turnout and by the hard work everyone puts into the breakfast each year.

“I feel great, I’m very excited about it,” she said. “It breaks up the monotony.”

The night continued with many prizes and giveaways. There were also cereal-eating and pancake-flipping contests, ensuring students would not walk away disappointed.

“This is one of the coolest experiences I’ve had all year,” said George Barchini, a freshman political science major.

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