Over 70 students filled the lower level of the J.C. Williams Center for the annual Brazilian Carnival hosted by Latinos for Christ on Saturday evening.
The carnival started promptly at 9 p.m. and featured music, dancing, photos and refreshments. The lower J.C. was fully decorated with vibrant tablecloths, banners, flashing lights and papel picado — colorful squares of tissue paper cut out with intricate designs.
The entire event was completely free of charge, and this coupled with the brightly colored room quickly gathered a large crowd in less than 20 minutes.
After sampling the variety of sodas available, many students flocked to the dance floor for a wide array of Spanish music, including Payaso de Rodeo and the ever-famous Macarena.
The food consisted of a variety of dishes such as platanos maduros (caramelized bananas) and large portions of chicken wrapped in bacon.
Senior Paul Nick was enthusiastic about the choice of refreshments. “Anything wrapped in bacon is perfect,” he said. “I walked in, (and) there was chicken wrapped in bacon … I didn’t even need to know the chicken part! If there’s bacon in it, I’m good.”
Senior Lauren Gonzáles, an officer in Latinos for Christ, said that while the club has been planning the event since the beginning of the semester, it was not too complicated to organize. “(The carnival is) a standard party that we do, so we just go with the flow,” Gonzáles said.
“This is one of the best … student-run events,” said freshman Jared Johnson. “It’s so fun, it’s free and the food is amazing.”
While Franciscan’s Brazilian Carnival fell on Leap Day, the first Saturday of Lent this year, the festivities in Brazil typically fall just before Ash Wednesday. The term “carnival” originates from the Spanish word for meat, “carne,” because Brazilian Catholics will abstain from meat after the Carnival is over and Lent begins.
The carnival was sponsored by Franciscan University’s Latinos for Christ Club. Their next event will be a Noche de Fiesta celebration on Saturday, March 28, at 9 p.m. in the J.C. Williams Center Atrium.