The Krewe of Freret held its coronation ball Friday evening at the New Orleans Jazz Market.
Reigning over the festivities and the parade will be Ryan Gerlich and Kristi Jacobs-Stanley. In keeping with the krewe's tradition, the selection of the royals was based on those who have made a significant contribution to the krewe.
Her majesty is a native of Gentilly and attended Cabrini High School. She received a bachelor's degree in theater from Loyola University and master's degree in theater management from the University of Alabama/Alabama Shakespeare Festival. She is the fine arts department chair and theater director at Mount Carmel Academy. She serves on the board of the Louisiana High School Speech League and Louisiana State Thespians and is co-moderator of the New Orleans Catholic Forensic League. The royal's passion is theater education, and she has worked at theaters across the country including Seattle Children’s Theater and Missoula Children’s Theater. She resides in Gentilly with her husband, Marcus, and daughter Basil Marie.
His majesty "is honored to serve as 2018 king" and notes "the etymology of the name Ryan is Irish for 'kingly' or 'little king,' so the opportunity to ride as king seems a perfect fit." A native of Cypress, Texas, near Houston, the royal was introduced to New Orleans upon matriculating at Loyola University. The city's passion for life, good food and music was infectious. It took Hurricane Katrina to pull him away from this special city, but not before he met his wife-to-be, Laura Vasquez. The couple often return to the Crescent City and have not missed Carnival since 2001.
Khris Royal headlined the entertainment at the ball. Proceeds from the ball were contributed to the Son of A Saint Foundation.
A public coronation ceremony is held at Royal Street and Elysian Fields Avenue immediately preceding Krewe du Vieux and Krewe Delusion on Saturday, Jan. 27. In Greek mythology, the final resting places of the souls of the heroic and the virtuous occupied the "Elysian Fields," where they would remain after death indulging in whatever employment they had enjoyed in life.
The krewe takes to the streets of Uptown New Orleans on Saturday, Feb. 3.