The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Friday December 9th

'Come in and have fun': How Chapel Hill is celebrating Mardi Gras this week

A mask and Mardi Gras beads hang from the antlers of a moose at Red Moose Brewing Company in Pittsboro, N.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. The family-owned establishment is one of many local businesses participating in the Pittsboro Mardi Gras Pub Crawl on Feb. 26, 2022.
Buy Photos A mask and Mardi Gras beads hang from the antlers of a moose at Red Moose Brewing Company in Pittsboro, N.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022. The family-owned establishment is one of many local businesses participating in the Pittsboro Mardi Gras Pub Crawl on Feb. 26, 2022.

While it may not be New Orleans, Chapel Hill is hosting a wide variety of Mardi Gras festivities this week.

Socks Off Entertainment is hosting a Mardi Gras Party at The PITCH on Franklin Street this Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Festivities for Mardi Gras in Chapel Hill began Tuesday night. The Socks Off event is set to wrap up the celebration.

“It might not be New Orleans Mardi Gras, but we're going to try our hardest,” said Ryan Cunningham, the owner of Socks Off Entertainment. 

According to Cunningham, partygoers can purchase tickets online for $12 or at the door for $15. There is also a discount available to UNC students.

The party at The PITCH will feature a DJ, dancing, games, drinking, food and masquerade masks. 

“It's the ability to have a great time for a night, hopefully, make some new friends and just kind of reset as an extrovert,” Cunningham said.

He said Mardi Gras is unique in that it has both a secular and a religious aspect. 

While the holiday is celebrated with festivals, food, parades and parties, it is also observed among several Christian denominations. It began on the Epiphany — celebrated on Jan. 6 — and concludes on Shrove Tuesday, better known as Mardi Gras. 

The former is a primarily Christian holiday that commemorates the Magi's visit to baby Jesus and his eventual baptism, according to the New Testament. 

The latter, on the other hand, precedes the observance of Lent, the 40-day period of the Christian liturgical calendar that is meant to honor the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, as noted in the New Testament.

Lent began with Ash Wednesday this week and is set to end on April 14.   

“It marks the end of one season and the beginning of another,” said Boykin Bell, the director of Christian formation at The Chapel of the Cross. “It helps us tell the story of the Church year.”

The church has been hosting Mardi Gras celebrations for as long as she can remember.

Mardi Gras festivities at The Chapel of the Cross included eating king cake, pancake races for the youth, burying the Hallelujah banner and burning palm leaves to be used for the following day’s Ash Wednesday church service. 

This is the first time in two years that the church has hosted Mardi Gras celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she said. 

“This year the event has particular significance because it's been so long since we've gathered,” Bell said. “This is the first time we've had a lot of people together for an intergenerational event that is not worship.”

UNC sophomore Connor Selle attended Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans for the first time last weekend and was impressed by the culture, history and architecture of the festivities. 

He was excited to see Chapel Hill create its own unique celebrations. 

“You can’t have a halfway done Mardi Gras,” he said. “Everyone would have to be invested in and excited to give their time to make the celebration a success.”

Cunningham hopes that the Mardi Gras party on Saturday will allow attendees to connect with the community through fun games and festivities. 

"The concept is come in and have fun, and kind of a crazy night," Cunningham said. 

@jennarupp_

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.



Comments

The Daily Tar Heel's 2022 Year in Review

Special Print Edition

Games & Horoscopes

Print Edition Games Archive