As guests of the Krewe of Pontchartrain entered the beautiful Grand Ballroom of the Chateau Golf and Country Club on Thursday, they were greeted with a spectacular Carnival setting and entertainment for the organization's 42nd Jeudi Gras celebration and coronation ball.
After the playing of the National Anthem, the tableau began with the introduction of honored guests and past kings and queens. The officers and float lieutenants were then introduced by naming the parade float that they represent. Then the founder and captain of the krewe made his appearance to the jubilant guests.
Reigning over the event were King Pontchartrain XLII, Mr. Mark Alan Houltzhouser and Queen Pontchartrain XLII, Miss Natasha Nicole Charles.
The king, husband of Mrs. Denise Houltzhouser, was dressed in white formal attire, and was presented his crown and royal goblet by officers of the club.
Her majesty, daughter of Mr. Julius Charles and the late Mrs. Gloria Wilson Sexton, was escorted by his majesty. She was sporting the official Silver Grouper Necklace and wore an elegant V-necked princess ball grown with a crystal-lined, lace bodice and cascading organza ruffles. The queen then received her royal flowered scepter, adorned with a gold rose, from the captain.
Senior maids of the court, each carrying a bouquet of a dozen red roses and escorted by officers of the club to the dais. Senior maids were Misses Lilijana Elizabeth Chufo, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Ronald Chufo; Megan Celeste Dubuc, daughter of Mr. Steve John Dubuc and Ms. Amy Kate Scandaliato; Lacey Mallette Holmes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Laurence R. Holmes; Jessica Erin Houltzhouser, daughter of the king and Mrs. Houltzhouser; Olivia Annabelle Kilpatrick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus Roger Kilpatrick III; and Ashley Kaitlyn Mercer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Kevin Mercer.
One by one, the junior maids of the court, each carrying a Carnival-colored nosegay, were introduced and escorted to the dais by members of the organization. The junior maids included Misses Charlotte Christine Chufo, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gregory Ronald Chufo; Paige Lizabeth Delise, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Scott Delise; Sophia Marie Gordon, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Randy Allen Gordon; Ariana Celeste Khoobehi, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Kamran Khoobehi; Jaia Mayota Learson, daughter of Mr. Dennis Antione Learson and Ms. Nicole Allom Learson; and Celeste Patricia Scandaliato, daughter of Mr. Samuel Thomas Scandaliato and Ms. Melissa Irene Naquin.
After receiving their royal gifts, the monarchs saluted the guests to a standing ovation. The captain then gave the signal for the royal promenade to begin, with the entire court circling the ballroom floor to the music "If Ever I Cease To Love".
In keeping with a Pontchartrain tradition, the queen was given her second line white Mardi Gras umbrella, and as the captain blew his whistle, her majesty led the krewe and guests in a parade around the ballroom to conclude the tableau.
Music, dancing and entertainment by Jubilation continued until midnight, at which time the official New Orleans Mardi Gras parade season begins.
General chairman of the ball was Mr. John Tessitore. Vice chairmen were Messrs. Michael Haydel, Dr. David Mulnick and Edwin Muniz. Master of ceremonies was Mr. Alden Hargardom.
The Krewe of Pontchartrain will stage its parade at 1 p.m. Feb. 18 on St. Charles Avenue with the theme "What Cha Want On Your Po-Boy?"