In an setting of regal splendor, the Krewe of Okeanos presented a glittering coronation pageant of Carnival revelry last weekend at the bal masque on the occasion of the organization’s 69th anniversary.
The Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel was the setting, transformed into a purple, green and gold fantasyland that served as a fitting throne room for the event held Jan. 27.
This year’s tableau was titled “Travel with Okeanos.”
As is the organization's tradition, the identity of the queen was unknown until the night of the ball. The six Okeanos maids, all dressed in shimmering white evening gowns, were escorted to their respective dukes by officers of the krewe.
As described in the tableau, each maid represented a destination on an imaginary journey circumnavigating the globe. The maids were symbolic of the international gateway of New York City, the romantic city of Paris, the enigmatic country of Egypt, the mysterious land of China, the imperial nation of Japan and the exotic island state of Hawaii, the last stop on the virtual tour.
The royal maids of her majesty’s court were Misses Molly Kate Derbes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis J. Derbes Jr.; Bailey Anne Gossett, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rex Gossett; Isabella Michelle Mannino, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mannino II; Marley Jane Straubmueller, daughter of Mr. Dow Straubmueller and the late Mrs. Beth Straubmueller; and Virginia Louise Theriot, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell T. Theriot.
After all the maids had entered the ballroom, each was instructed to select one of the identically wrapped boxes from atop a table, in a predetermined order by lot.
Wrapped in gold foil and festooned with a golden bow, each box held a bouquet of red roses with one rose covered in golden silk damask.
Earlier, the float lieutenants had arrived in bright outfits of traditional Carnival. They announced the appearance of the captain, 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.
At the captain’s order, the maids uncovered their masked roses. Except for one, which held the single golden-yellow rose, all of the uncovered roses were red.
Miss Kailey Patricia Ragus, daughter of Mrs. Donna Ragus, held the bouquet with the single yellow rose and was thus selected to serve as the 2018 queen. She was immediately crowned, establishing her yearlong reign over the krewe.
Her majesty was then joined on the stage by the king of Okeanos, who entered the ballroom wearing a costume of French white silk trimmed in gold, 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 scepters featuring sparkling Austrian crystals.
Junior maids to the royal court were Misses Katherine Ann Koppens, daughter of Ms. Jen Sciarrota and the late Mr. Kirk Koppens; and Abigail Elizabeth Lundgren, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Lundgren. They were attired in white evening gowns and escorted into the ballroom by the junior dukes Masters Calen Peter Aucoin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Drew Aucoin; and Philip Steven Lundgren, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lundgren.
Royal pages to his majesty, attired in white with gold trim, were Masters Casen Paul Aucoin, son of Mr. and Mrs. Aucoin; and Anthony DeGuyter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Barry Anthony DeGuyter.
Music accompanying the tableaux was provided by Smasonics, while New Suit provided entertainment after the tableaux for general dancing.
The general chairmen of the coronation ball were Messrs. Lionel J. Smith Sr. and Jr.
Vice chairmen of the ball were Mrs. Joann Fischer and Messrs. Stewart R. Barnett Jr., President Steve Campo, Robert R. Carreras, Ernest W. Catsulis, Peter Dougherty, 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., Matthew Hedrick, Matthew Hedrick Jr. and Jake Romano.