One of the magical Carnival moments occurs at the ball of the Twelfth Night Revelers, when a white-gowned young woman opens a tiny cake box and discovers the golden bean. Moments later, she is tapped into a monarchal mode.
Last evening, the Twelfth Night Revelers gathered to celebrate the start of this year’s Carnival season with their annual ball, held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
This year at the ball, 21 debutantes made rounds, just after the oversized cake was brought onto the dance floor. Suspense mounted along with the merriment. As Miss Isabel Nott Jackson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Harris Jackson, plucked the golden bean from its packaging, she flashed a stunning smile, amid gasps of joy. The goddess of chance had selected her to reign with the Lord of Misrule, the Twelfth Night Revelers king, at the 146th celebration.
Wearing the crown of the Twelfth Night Revelers in 2014 was Miss Virginia Legier Alpaugh. The returning royal was presented to the most recent assemblage in full regalia, along with her court of 10 debutantes of last season.
This year’s maids, recipients of the silver beans, were Misses Catherine Crawford Adams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Roland Adams III; Sarah Kent Agnew, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Frank de la Houssaye Agnew; Patricia McCarthy Beron, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Edouard Beron; Grace Catherine Mallette Cary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Rives Cary III; Claire Marie Clay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George William Clay; Eleanor Brennan Davis, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. W. Edward Davis III; Jordan Elizabeth Devlin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clay Sutton Devlin; Margaret Coco Ellis, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Conner Ellis III; Christina Ann Ewin, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Christopher Scott Ewin; Elizabeth Ashland Hines, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Hugh Hines; Sage Lyons Laborde, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Peter Laborde Jr. and daughter of Ms. Pia Lyons Laborde; Caroline Bernard McGraw, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Phillip McGraw III; Regan Starnes Nelson, daughter and stepdaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Allan Nelson and stepdaughter and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Alexander Brown; Karoline Havens Patrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Joseph Patrick; Kelly Wright Swanson, daughter of Mr. James Richard Swanson and Mrs. Marianne Rapier Swanson; Katherine Larson Thompson, daughter of Mr. William Howard Thompson and Mrs. Sheryl Larson Thompson; Nicole Elizabeth Weinmann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert St. George Tucker Weinmann; Maia Margaret Weston, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert DeWitt Weston; Leah Katherine Whann, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert James Whann IV and Catherine Turner Worley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bruce Worley Jr.
Prior to the raising of the figurative curtain, guests gathered for the commencement of the pageantry. To initiate the fun, the junior and adult cooks — the boys and men outfitted in the organization’s baker suits, and for the men, masks — darted forth to distribute the printed programs that had been arranged to form “TNR” on the ballroom floor. This year’s junior cooks included: Masters Pierce Eduardo Bewley, stepson and son of Mr. and Mrs. William James Kearner IV; Lynton Guy Cook IV, son of Mr. and Mrs. Cook III; Whitfield Christopher Scott Conner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth George Conner; Myles Makofsky Douglas, son of Mr. and Mrs. D. Stewart Douglas; Charles Ferrier McCall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Barrett Bloodworth McCall; Walker McCall Montgomery, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Bullard Montgomery IV; and Walter Watson Scriber, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ashley Barret Scriber.
During a pre-ball reception, Miss Alpaugh was toasted and hailed for her reign, which was drawing to a close. All glasses were then raised to Queen Virgina.
Miss Alpaugh’s court maids from 2014 included Misses Lindsey Taylor Baker, Claire Catherine Brown, Carroll Irene Gelderman, Hayley Louise Hoefer, Katherine Blair Johnson, Kaelin Louise Ochsner, Claire Elizabeth Plauché, Shelley Elizabeth Tompkins and Laura Eason Weinmann.
The evening was filled with joy and merriment as the Revelers and their guests danced and socialized through the night, much like the original Revelers did in 1870. The curtain has fallen on the Revelers’ 2015 festivities, but the Carnival curtain has been lifted and will be held aloft until February 17.
Within that time there will be much merriment and magnificent monarchs, all heralded by Queen Isabel and the Lord of Misrule.