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Mardi Gras Court king and queen ready for crowns

Photo+by+Summer+Ho
Photo by Summer Ho

Photo by Summer Ho

Photo by Summer Ho

Summer Ho, [email protected]

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The stressful environment of college brings about difficult exams, external exhaustion and financial debt.

But for one day (or perhaps the entire weekend), people can feast and party to their heart’s content on Fat Tuesday in honor of Mardi Gras.

More specifically, Josh Usie and Grace Jeanfreau are in the festive spirit as they will reign as king and queen of the 2017 SGA Mardi Gras Court.

Usie, a senior marketing major, and Jeanfreau, a senior biology major and chemistry and Spanish minor, became friends through ULM’s Greek Life four years ago.

Usie is a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, Prep Staff and SGA. He enjoys exercising and playing guitar to relax.

Jeanfreau is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, Alpha Epsilon Delta and Phi Kappa Phi. Unlike Usie, she likes to bake and paint in her spare time.

In previous years, Usie and Jeanfreau never ran for Beau and Belle. Neither even imagined or intended on running for the court until they were encouraged by friends.

Mardi Gras King Josh Usie and Queen Grace Jeanfreau (Photo by Summer Ho)

These same friends motivated and helped them in campaigning, as they used social media and word of mouth to gain support.

Tina Pham, a senior computer information systems major, said she agreed with the court results.

“Josh and Grace really resemble an actual king and queen because they’re so friendly, composed and beautiful,” Pham said.

At first, a gruesome uphill battle ensued as Usie originally ended up with a lower number of votes in the first election.

“I had a lot of ground to make up. I knew I had to have my ‘A-game,’” Usie said.

In the end, both felt shocked and elated at the election results.

“You don’t realize how much support and how many people are behind you until you see that number. And it’s pretty humbling,” Jeanfreau said.

The pair of royalty reminisced about their history and involvement with Mardi Gras.

Usie grew up in Lafayette and often celebrated with his family. On the other hand, Jeanfreau simply loves carnivals in general and attended the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians, which is the equivalent of Mardi Gras in Washington, D.C.

The tradition of Mardi Gras represents a fun and special culture to ULM and Louisiana.

Explosions of decorations and costumes in purple, green and gold adorn the streets as revelers experience music, parades, floats, beads, king cake, Cajun food and more.

As they prepare to take the throne, Jeanfreau said they are happy they get to experience this together.

Both seniors cherish that they can end their years at ULM with a “last hurrah.”

What’s more, according to the decree of our king and queen, perhaps a memorable surprise awaits at the Mardi Gras Ball.

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Mardi Gras Court king and queen ready for crowns