McNicholas students participate in Mardi Gras as pages

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Pages have long since been a part of McNick’s Mardi Gras tradition, and for the school’s 60th Annual Mardi Gras Pageant and Ball on Feb. 19, the visual displays featured the past pages that later became students at McNick.  Among the pages featured were current seniors Rebecca Heise and John Sandmann, junior Tony Losekamp, and sophomores Daniel Sandmann and Laura Garrison.

Heise, John Sandmann, and Daniel Sandmann have come “full circle” by participating in the Mardi Gras ceremony again, this time as members of the court or honor guard. This seems to be a common trend with past pages; in 2011, Losekamp was on honor guard, and his brother, Billy, was crowned king.

“Being a page was definitely an interesting experience,” Losekamp said. “I found it ironic that the entertainment during the Mardi Gras pep rally this year was glow-in-the-dark drumming, because that was the Mardi Gras pageant entertainment when I was a page. I remember having to wear leather pants to fit into the music theme of the dance. Now, the pages don’t really have to dress up [for the theme] as much.”

Every year, there are always two pages: one girl and one boy. They are almost always children or grandchildren of McNicholas faculty and staff members, and the planning committee tries to assign children between the ages of 5 to 7 years old. The pages’ main job is to carry the queen’s  train as she makes her grand entrance, but they also entertain the crowd while sitting on stage with the court. This year’s pages were Sam Noble, son of Communications Director Angie Noble, and Ella Trout, granddaughter of Administrative Assistant Pat Farwick.

“I think the pages are so cute,” junior and 2012 Honor Guard member Annie Gilfilen said. “I love watching them color and wave at everybody, especially when they aren’t shy and show a lot of personality.”

The pages are required to attend at least two of the ceremony rehearsals, and are given toys and coloring books to keep them satisfied during the 90-minute ceremony.

“Keeping five year olds in line and well-behaved is sometimes a challenging task,” Mardi Gras organizer Bill Losekamp said. “And even when the kids are following the rules, they’ve had some close calls with falling off steps or pulling too hard on the veil. That’s why we make sure the kids are prepared and have some practice.”

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