With a live band, entertainment, and plenty of food, the south quad was transformed into the French Quarter for an afternoon as Ware Commons hosted its second annual Mardi Gras party Saturday.
Ware provided all the staples: from gumbo, to jambalaya, to over 450 pounds of crawfish. After the main course, attendees turned to the king cake to see if they were one of the lucky few to get the baby in their slice.
“I’ve never celebrated Mardi Gras before,” said freshman Byron Meshram. “I always thought that it was only a New Orleans thing. But I’m glad that Krewe du Ware was put on because I might never have realized how cool it can actually be.”
Jazz music by a live band filled the air as two dancers spun on a large hula hoop, and a performer dazzled the crowd with a variety of tricks, including fire-breathing. Inside the commons, students got to hang out with an Argentinian lizard named Capone and channel Britney Spears circa 2001 while posing for pictures with a python.
The name “Krewe du Ware” pays homage to the krewes of New Orleans, which are groups that put on parades and balls for Mardi Gras. The most famous of these is the Krewe du Vieux.
“I think we’ve had a really good turnout again this year. We had high expectations because last year was so great,” said sophomore Joanna Khorey, president of Ware. “We’re also thankful for the Wares giving us the budget to throw such a big party for the campus for those who couldn’t make it to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.”
The commons’ namesake, Richard Ware, is an SMU alumnus and is currently on the board of trustees. Though he works in Amarillo for Amarillo National Bank, his family is actively involved with the commons and his daughter, Anne-Clayton, lives in Highland Park.
Last year the commons spent more than $40,000 on the event, with donations from the Ware family. The amount spent this year would not be disclosed.
One change this year: there was no evening event for the residents of Ware. Last year, the Ware community continued the revelry after the daytime event for a formal dinner.
“We just realized it was a huge expense and there were other ways we could use that money. We wanted it to be an inclusive event for the whole campus and the public,” said Miller.
The committee did not wait to start planning this year’s event. Miller said the day Krewe du Ware ended last year, planning for this year had already commenced.