Two glorious Carnival balls, those of The Olympians and the Caliphs of Cairo, took place back-to-back in the Royal Tent, replete with all the scintillating trappings of royalty in their debutante queens and the comeliness of courts.
n The Olympians
Orthography was to the festive fore on a Friday when The Olympians regaled its guests with a tableau written by Melissa Douglass Steiner and titled “A New Orleans Spelling B.” The masked ball took place in the Royal Tent on the grounds of the New Orleans Country Club.
But it was an “A” that enjoyed monarchal dubbing. Her majesty was Miss Claire Alexandra Adams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Pankey Adams III. The alphabet gamut was reversed, as concerns the surname of last year’s queen, Miss Claire Michelle Zeringue, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne George Zeringue Jr. By Carnival coincidence, both answer to the same first name: Claire.
Maids in the court to her majesty Claire Adams were Misses Catherine Margaret Brierre, Alexandra Elizabeth Cimini, Julia Eleanor Nelson and Reilly Pringle Rendiero. Double that number were the eight princesses: Misses Mary Lucy Charbonnet, Pellegrina Ann Vaughn Cimini (a sister of the above Allie Cimini), Virginia Lucille Crocker, Sophia Reese Dugan, Hailey Elizabeth Hopwood, Madeline Cecile Kerber, Marguerite Phyllis Talmadge, and Marguerite Ellen Thibeaux.
Tending to their duties as pages to the unidentified king and queen were Masters James Roland Vaughn Cimini and Benedetto Burch Cimini (brothers of the above court maid and princess), Paul Dufour, Nelson Gatesby Gagnet, and Chase Merritt Veillion.
Mr. Arthur Seldon Mann III served as general chairman of the ball with assistance from Messrs. James Judson Crane, Bret A. Clesi, Charles T. Walsten and Stephen H. Schonberg. Mr. George Douglass Jr. was the general chairman emeritus.
The “B” of the tableau title translated into “Beauty” for the regal look of Miss Adams. Her Ilaine Hartman gown was of embroidered lace overlaying white silk satin and enhanced with Swarovski rhinestone margaritas and strands of rhinestones. The organization’s mantle graced her shoulders. Adding bijou brilliance was her own jewelry.
Yvonne LaFleur was the name of the designer of the gown of royal mother, Wendi Adams. She was joined in her box seating by Ms. Susie Watts DeFrank, Dr. Nancy Burrow, and Mmes. Paul E. DeFrank, John Apple, Scott Murphy, Kenneth Cowart and Lloyd Fitzpatrick Jr. Nearby were Mmes. Donald G. Charbonnet, Mann, Crane, Michael Daly, Christopher Mann, C. Layton Merritt III, Andre Mouledoux, and William Farrell, whose black strapless dress featured gold designs.
Also, Mmes. Ewell C. Potts III, Rene Dupaquier, Doug Tyler, Douglass, John J. Dardis, David Haydel Jr., Jeffrey Brennan, Glenn Landrum, Thomas J. Mitchell, Clesi, Schonberg and Ms. Yvette Monju.
And, Miss Colleen Farrell, Miss Susie Goodyear and Mmes. Kenneth A. Haik, Brett C. Budden, William J. Joyce, Susan Ward, Greg Phillips and Joseph Clark. Many were wearing the ball favor by India Stewart.
All were entertained by the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra.
Then it was on to the adjacent country club for the delights of the Queen’s Supper, where breakfast sated the Carnival appetite and the show band, BRW, made merry music until the wee hours of Saturday. At that time, and for queen Claire, everything was spelled out in superlatives.
n Caliphs of Cairo
The following evening, guests were summoned by the Caliphs of Cairo at their glorious ball to the court of Ivan IV Vasilyevich, known as “Ivan the Terrible,” as he was named Tsar of All the Russias in 1564.
Although unlike the title attributed to him, he ruled benevolently.
Gracing the stage, along with the unnamed king, was Miss Mary Callaghan Rome, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Perrin Rome III. The ballroom in the Royal Tent was transformed into Ivan’s Palace in Moscow. Fittingly for the manifestations of past and present monarchy, the gown of queen Callee was by Royal Design House. It featured the soft shimmer of gold chiffon under a white, sheer silk gazar overlay. White beaded lace and Swarovski crystal rhinestones were accents.
Maids to her majesty were Misses Alexandra Elizabeth Cimini, Emily McConnon Dunlap, Anna Lee Gordon, Sarah Ehret Martin, Reilly Pringle Rendeiro, Conlan Siobhan Rome and Grace Foley Williamson.
Misses Bryce Reyna Arata, Camille Bettes Dunlap, Helena Odinet Koclanes, Sophia Elizabeth Lorusso, Elizabeth Lynn Lunn, Morgan Elizabeth Martin, Adelayde Grace Rome (sister of the queen) and Emery Alexandra Rome were the ladies in waiting, and Misses Mary Ellen Catherine Edwards, Molly McKay Coman, Ellen Marie Hailey and Mary Aliene Lunn, the princesses. Completing the court were pages Masters David Marshall Labadie, Charles Bennette Martin and Jean Paul Stouse.
Mr. Charles Tusa Walsten was the general chairman and Mr. Arthur Seldon Mann III, Mr. Bret Alden Clesi and Dr. Jerry Joseph St. Pierre, committee chairmen.
Two returning queens were presented to their majesties. From last year came Miss Emily Elizabeth Tastet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Anthony Tastet. From 1966 was Mildred “Millie” Porteous Ball (Mrs. Keith Cooper Marshall), the 50-year anniversary queen. She raved about how much fun she had returning, “I just loved it,” adding “It took me back and made me feel like a queen again.”
The two had met in similar circumstances before. When Miss Tastet was queen as a sub-deb of the Children’s Carnival Club, Ms. Ball was the returning 50-year queen. Years later, she married her CCC king, Mr. Marshall.
The queen mother of 2016, Mary Grace Rome, donned a Carolina Herrera woven silk gown. As did others, she wore the India Stewart-designed krewe favor of St. Basil’s cathedral in Moscow. Joining her were royal grandmother Mrs. Curtis Perrin Rome Jr. as well as Mmes. Galen Zamarra (from New York), Jean Paul Stouse (her majesty, as Miss Yvette Rome, in 1990), Patrick Joseph Callahan Sr. and Jr. (from Delaware), H. Merritt Lane, Peter Laborde, Bradford Powers, John Payne and Kenneth J. Steele. And, Donna Baus, Donna Maselli, Ashley Moll, Leigh Ann Schell, Elizabeth Rome and Dr. Christine Keating.
Misses Lauren Lee Paysse and Sloane Alexandra Paysse were seated with Mmes. Rene S. Paysse Jr., Allen D. Acomb Jr. and III, Bryant Cohen, T.J. Semmes Hughs, William D. Hughs, Ralph Breaux, Gary McNamara, Louis Poche, Stephen Conroy and Patrick Duckworth.
Nearby were Mmes. Alan G. Brackett, George Edgar White Jr., Theodore Davis Ruddock III, Paul E. Duncan Sr., Mont Sandles Echols III, Wesley W. Bryan, John Bettes Dunlap III and Samuel M. Rosamond III, as well as 15 returning queens.
Prior to the ball, a reception unfolded at her majesty’s home for the queen and her court. Post-pageantry, a traditional breakfast honored the queen at the New Orleans Country Club, where gold and the trio of Carnival colors prevailed as decorations and the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra played, as it had done at the ball. Certainly, all social “roads” led to Miss Rome, along with the king, to congratulate them on their majestic roles.