If you like watching jugglers, wearing silly hats, eating with your hands, and listening to music from the Middle Ages, then you really need to attend Augsburg’s annual Mardi Grad Madrigals dinner.
This event features jugglers and musicians, storytellers and poets, and a feast—eaten without utensils, of course. Local high school choirs are invited to perform, and this year’s dinner features a special performance by the Schola Goliardi, Augsburg’s new Medieval music ensemble directed by guest artist Jordan Sramek, artistic director of the internationally acclaimed Rose Ensemble.
The Mardi Gras feast was a traditional celebration among laity that happened on “Fat Tuesday,” the day before the Lenten season began on Ash Wednesday. It represented a sort of last chance for people to fill up on rich, fatty foods and to enjoy music and dancing prior to a 40-day observance of fasting and prayer.
Augsburg’s celebration, says Medieval studies and history professor Phil Adamo, is a chance to teach the community about a Middle Ages tradition and also to showcase the talent of Augsburg students.
Andrew Fox, a junior studying Medieval studies and religion, will also be performing with his traditional Celtic folk band. Fox, who says he was never really a “Ren fest kid,” got into Medieval studies because he was interested in church history and the Middle Ages in general. This is his third year performing in the Mardi Gras Madrigal dinner.
“I like being able to play music and to entertain,” Fox says. “It’s not like any other sort of feast or banquet. We’re all wearing Medieval costumes and eating with our hands. It’s kind of exciting.”
Fox encourages students to attend for a chance to enjoy food, music, and entertainment. “If you’re an Augsburg student you can get free food and have a good time in general,” he says.
The Mardi Gras Madrigal event will be held Tuesday, Mar. 8 in the Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center. Go to the website for ticket information.