King Dr. Chambliss Harrod and Queen Dee Keller reigned over the 31st annual Karnival Krewe de Louisiane Ball on Friday, Jan. 19, at Raising Cane’s River Center.
This year’s Emerald City theme, loosely based on "The Wizard of Oz," started at the entrance to the Exhibition Hall, which had been turned into Dorothy’s home in Kansas. Guests entered through the home's front door.
As the court and debutantes were introduced, they walked down a yellow brick road to the stage. Prior to the tableau, the stage backdrop featured a black-and-white video of Dorothy's home as the cyclone approached. As the tableau began, the shimmering Emerald City emerged on the video backdrop, which was flanked by 24-foot diamond acrylic curtains lit in emerald green. The front of the stage featured flower boxes filled with hundreds of handmade red poppies. The king and queen sat on golden thrones.
Ball Captain Terrie Sterling hosted the tableau. Members of the royal court were Duke L. Victor Gregoire, Duchess Dr. Catherine Katzenmeyer, Duke Dr. Scott Nyboer, Duchess Dr. Mary Raven, Duke Mike Kimble, Duchess Krystal Howell, Duke Nial Patel, Duchess Mary Beth Chevalier, Duke Dr. Henry Barham and Duchess Sam Fisicaro.
The tableau culminated with the presentation of the krewe’s 2018 debutante coterie with their escorts: Marla Susan Aronson, escorted by her father, Mark Aronson; Olivia Angele Cooley, escorted by her father, Dr. Todd Cooley; Kathleen May Elofson, escorted by her father, Dr. Rodger Elofson; Jeanne Madeline Favret, escorted by her father, Jacques Favret, and her stepfather, Devin Gum; Catherine Elizabeth Fuller, escorted by her father, Neal Fuller; Madelyn Claire Graves, escorted by her father, Dr. Kurt Graves; Alexandra Nichole Martin, escorted by her father, Jeffrey Martin; Hillary Taylor Melara, escorted by her father, Julio Melara; Abigail Wood Mock, escorted by her father, Chuck Mock; Adele Elizabeth Poché, escorted by her father, Timothy Poché; Claire Susanne Soileau, escorted by her father, Carl Soileau; Adair Elise Talbot, escorted by her father, Kevin Talbot; Sydney Catherine Trainor, escorted by her father, Eric Trainor; and Jeanne Ruth Wood, escorted by Dr. Robert Fields.
At the end of the tableau, krewe board President, Marilyn Starks welcomed everyone and presented a $215,000 check, representing the krewe’s yearlong fundraising effort to benefit cancer patients in the community, to representatives from Mary Bird Perkins–Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. Also on stage for the presentation were members of the Lane family of Gerry Lane Enterprises, presenting sponsor of the event.
Grand Marshal Jenni Peters then led the court and debutantes in a second line with everyone joining in. A parade followed that included the Scotlandville High School Marching Band led by director Irone Roussell and the McKinley High School Marching Band led by director Frank Williams. Other participants included Al Azar Grotto B Patrol, Honda Gold Wing Riders, iHeart Media, the Baton Rouge Fire Department, the McKinley High School JROTC lead by Master Sgt. Will Peoples, Guaranty Broadcasting, Red Stick Roller Derby, Giant Puppets and unicycling by Robert Sherman and the East Baton Rouge Parish Motorcycle Deputies.
The Tip Tops' music kept revelers dancing until midnight.
The 2017-2018 sponsors and corporate ball associates are In Register; Anton’s Fine Jewelry; Baton Rouge Clinic-Dr. Todd Cooley; Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Co.; Baton Rouge Digital Products; Bauder Family; Berkshire Hathaway United Properties; Bernhard Capital Partners; Bradley-Blewster and Associates; CMA Technology Solutions; Eatel Corp.; Excel Modular Scaffold; FMOL Health Systems; Gerry Lane Enterprises; Dr. David D. Hanson and Dr. Jolene K. Johnson; Home Bank; Horn Medical; Iron Horse Financial; Jones Walker; Legacy Nursing & Rehabilitation; Lipsey’s; LUBA Workers’ Comp; MBP-OLOL Cancer Center; Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation; The Neuromedical Center; Office Furniture World; Olinde Hardware & Supply Co.; OLOL Foundation; Oncology Solutions; Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (Corporate); Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group; Ryson Roofing; Regions Bank; Saunders & Chabert; Seale, Smith, Zuber & Barnette; Southeast Louisiana Radiation Oncology Group; Taylor, Porter, Brooks and Phillips; Wardlaw and Lasseign; Whitney Bank; Dr. Dale J. Politz and Associates; Kean Miller; Phelps Dunbar; and WGMB Fox 44/brproud.com.
For more information about the krewe , visit karnivalkrewe.com.