On Friday, Nov. 11, the first meeting regarding Mardi Gras was held for students. This year will be the 62nd year of honoring this tradition, which takes place in February. Even though Mardi Gras doesn’t happen for three more months, the process is lengthy and beginning this early is necessary to make the event successful.
At the initial meeting, teachers are responsible for giving background information concerning the tradition. This is mainly for giving the freshman key information, but everyone is reminded that it is not a popularity contest; it is for people to be recognized for their service.
The first homeroom to discuss Mardi Gras also explains the voting and nominating process. Once everyone has nominated four students, two boys and two girls, all of the nominations must be validated by double-checking nominations with the activities listed for each nominee. This process is extremely tedious due to how much attention it’s given. Once the nominations have been validated, the ballot is assembled. If a student has two nominations, he/she is placed on the ballot. The voting on the official ballot takes place in early January. Students are nominated in 7 categories: Christian leadership, Leadership, Academics, Clubs, Major extracurricular, Athletics, and Other Representation of McNicholas. Freshmen and sophomores must nominate peers for two of the categories; Juniors and seniors have to be nominated in 3 of the categories.
Students who are voted to the Court and Honor Guards are notified one month prior to the event , so they have enough time to prepare for the ceremony. Everyone can vote, but it isn’t until sophomore year that students are elected to Honor Guard. The Honor Guard consists of eight sophomores and eight juniors. The Court consists of forty seniors.
Theme planning begins over the summer, along with creating ideas and planning the script, decorations, the setup of the stage, decorations in the lobby and the entertainment. The theme for Mardi Gras 2014 is Luminosity, surrounding the ideas of illumination and light. Mardi Gras Chair Mr. Bill Losekamp described the theme as being centered around light, physically and spiritually. “We hope as a community we continue to spread the light to all of those around us,” Losekamp said.