The event was held in the Sorensen Student Center on Feb. 9. Mardi Gras lasted from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., making it the only event during the school year to go so late into the night. The event had more than 715 attendees; even Miss UVU Chelsi Richards attended the event and gave a performance.
“I think it’s a cool theme. It brings a lot of the students in and it brings them out to dance parties,” Richards said. “It gets us all combined and a closer university.”
As a student-run event, seven UVUSA members and more than 60 volunteers helped keep the night running smoothly. Steen Hatch, the UVUSA student in charge of the event, started the planning just before Christmas break.
Due to a drop in attendance at last year’s event “Circus Circus,” this year’s Mardi Gras budget allowance was lessened.
“This year we didn’t do too much,” Hatch said, “at the risk of spending a lot and not having a good turn out because people have lost the tradition.”
Not spending as much was noticeable to some students. Since Mardi Gras is an annual event some students, like Jonathan Turnbow, attend the event each year. This year marked Turnbow’s fourth year attending.
“They have a lot of mediocre events,” Turnbow said. “They did great [in] provid[ing] variety to the student body, but they provided a lot of distractions so that each event was not as good as it could have been. It’s usually really really fun”
Hypnotist Bruce McDonald was the main attraction this year. He held two shows during the night, both in the Ragan Theater. Morgan Lazenby, student, was hypnotized at the first showing that turned out a full house. Lazenby was one of 27 participants hypnotized during the show.
“I don’t remember until someone else points it out,” Lazenby said. “And I don’t remember vividly, I remember more like images.”
Hypnosis, according to McDonald, can help with relaxation and confidence. After the show Lazenby was able to confirm this message.
“It’s kind of like that don’t care ‘YOLO’ feeling. I actually have really bad stage fright,” Lazenby said.
UVUSA requests that students who attended give feedback, either by filling out a questionnaire in their office on the first floor of the Sorenson Student Center, or commenting on their Facebook page.
“We’re really here to serve the students, and if we don’t get that feedback, we don’t know what the students want,” Hatch said.