In an elaborate setting on the occasion of the organization’s annual bal masque, the Krewe of Okeanos presented a glittering coronation pageant of Carnival revelry last weekend on the occasion of its 66th anniversary.
The Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel was the opulent setting, transformed into a purple, green and gold fantasyland — a fitting royal throne room for the Jan. 3 event. This year’s tableau was titled “Okeanos Parades the Kings.”
The float lieutenants arrived in costumes of the traditional Carnival colors of purple, green and gold, trimmed in gold with colored plumage. They announced the appearance of the captain of the krewe, who arrived in a glimmering gold brocade costume bedecked with a collar of imported Austrian crystals and a gold headdress with white plumed ostrich feathers.
As is their tradition, the identity of the queen was unknown until the night of the Royal Coronation Ball. Amid the traditional Mardi Gras colors, the five Okeanos maids, dressed in shimmering white gowns, were escorted to their respective dukes by officers of the krewe.
Selected by chance to be queen from among the field of five maids was Miss Bailey Elaine O’Connor, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh F. O’Connor III.
The royal maids of her majesty’s court are Misses Sarah Elizabeth Bradbury, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George J. Bradbury; Madison Alice Martin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Martin; Haley Layne Roule, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Darryl L. Roule Jr.; and Marley Jane Straubmueller, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dow Straubmueller.
Each maid was emblematic of the theme, representing subjects that were worthy of a royal title. These included king crab; King Midas; Stephen King, the king of horror; king cake; and a tribute to Elvis Presley, known by many as “The King.”
After each maid entered the ballroom, they selected one of five identically wrapped boxes. Wrapped in gold foil and festooned with a bow, each box held a bouquet of red roses, with one covered in golden silk damask.
The bouquet that Miss O’Connor had selected contained the single golden-yellow rose. She was then crowned queen and began her yearlong reign over the krewe.
She was joined on the elaborate stage by the king of Okeanos, who entered the ballroom wearing a costume of imported French white silk trimmed in silver, attended by his royal pages. Both the king and queen wore trains trimmed in white fur bearing the crest of the krewe. Their majesties wore intricately crafted silver crowns and held scepters featuring sparkling imported Austrian crystals, indicative of their rule over the ball.
Junior maids to the royal court were Misses Bryden Hailey Bourgeois, daughter of Mr. Andy Bourgeois; Bailey Ann Gossett, daughter of Mr. Rex Gossett; Adriana Isabel and Gabriella Maria Mehaffie, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Mehaffie; and Stephanie Marie Ruiz, daughter of Mr. Jorge Ruiz. They were attired in white evening gowns and escorted into the ballroom by the junior dukes.
Junior dukes to the royal court were Masters Price Combes, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Combes; Davis Edward and Hayes Thomas Martin, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Martin; Trey Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Smith of Round Rock, Texas; and Zachary James Smith, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lionel J. Smith Jr.
Ladies in waiting to her majesty were Misses Lilla Camille Aucoin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Timmy Aucoin; Fiona J. and Willow C. May, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip May; Carolina Mehaffie and Natalia Mehaffie, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Mehaffie; Allison Smith, daughter of Mr and Mrs. Roy Smith of Round Rock, Texas; and Olivia Mary Weaver, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Tallman of Baton Rouge. They were attired in white evening gowns.
Royal pages to his majesty, attired in white with gold trim, were Masters Pharoah Anthony Saldana, son of Mr. and Mrs. Mario Saldana; and Henry Michael Weaver, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jamie Tallman of Baton Rouge.
The general chairmen of the ball were Messrs. Lionel J. Smith Sr. and Steve V. Campo, president. Vice chairmen of the ball were Messrs. Stewart R. Barnett Jr., Robert R. Carreras, Ernest W. Catsulis, Daniel E. Jones, Michael J. O’Shello, Dow M. Straubmueller and Baldo J. Mannino, captain emeritus. Members of the committee were Messrs. Troy A. Buttone, Eugene Fischer Jr., Jack Rizzuto and Jake Romano.
Music for the tableau was provided by Smasonics, while Flip Side provided entertainment after the tableau for general dancing.