The Krewe of Tucumcari, Baton Rouge’s oldest continuous running Carnival organization, went "Under the Sea" for its 71st Mardi Gras Ball on Feb. 3 at the Raising Cane’s River Center Ballroom.
Reigning over the festivities were Queen Tucumcari LXXI Mary Barbara Piper, of Lafayette, and her grandfather, King Tucumcari LXXI Jerry Piper.
The queen, daughter of ball Captain Jeffrey and Barbara Piper, of Lafayette, portrayed Ariel from Disney's "The Little Mermaid." She was accompanied by her page, Alexis Lee Trahan, daughter of board member Jay and Claire Trahan, who was outfitted as Scuttle, Ariel’s friend and confidant.
The ball opened with the singing of the national anthem by Amanda Jane Ourso and the final promenade of last year's royalty, Queen London Allen Fougerousse and King Bradley Joseph Folse, and Maids Sloane L’Anne Allen and Jade MacKenzie Dykes.
The traditional ball captain whistle exchange between last year's ball Captain J.P. Sevin and Jeffrey Piper, representing Sebastian the Crab, signaled the end of one reign and the beginning of a new. Piper called forth the members of the krewe, who paraded through the ballroom showering guests with beads.
They were followed by the maids of the royal court, each escorted by her father: Helen Trask Alford, daughter of Juliet and Justin Alford, representing Coral; Morgan Leigh Barksdale, daughter of Josephine and Eric Barksdale, representing Dolphin; Blake Elizabeth Caronna, daughter of Nicole and Richard Caronna, representing Treasure; and LeslyAnne Claire Warrington, daughter of Holly and Mark Warrington, representing Octopus.
Entertaining the court and ball guests were Tucumcari's Ding-A-Ling Dancers and their partners from the Ballroom Dance Co., of Baton Rouge. They included Brent Bonfanti and Rachel Podorsky, Terry Doub and Travis McLavy, Steve Langwell and Allison Antie, Wendell McDougald and Ariana Virgillio, Michael Moore and Ashlyn Easterly, Duncan Parks and Lauren Baxter, and Mike Saurage and Courtney Black.
The tableau concluded with krewe President Joey Culmone offering the Toast of Tucumcari to celebrate the new royal court's reign. At 11 p.m., he led guests in the traditional second-line.
Master of ceremonies for the evening was Trey Earle. Court designs and costume execution was by D&D Creations, stage design by Catherine Hale Whitehead and dance music by Beaucoup Boogie. Photography was provided by Daria Doyle of Renaissance Gallery.
Officers of the krewe are President Joseph “Joey” Culmone, Vice President Darrell P. Ourso, Treasurer Terry Doub and Secretary Trey Earle. Board members are Chad Anderson, David Cordell, Brett Dykes, Frank Gordon, Michael Hale, Steve Langwell, Michael Moore, Scott Pennington, Casey Person, John Sanchez, J.P. Sevin and Jay Trahan. Emeritus board members are Paul Anderson and Thomas C. McKowen IV.