Spring Fiesta

Four score marks the lovely longevity of the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association, which is known for its home tours — this year the Historic Home Tours were in the Vieux Carre — and a radiant queen and her court. Fittingly, Spring Fiesta promotes the beauty and heritage of the Crescent City.

Reigning was Miss Camille Catherine Le Gardeur de Tilly, daughter of Ms. Tara Doskey Le Gardeur de Tilly and the late Mr. Richard Henry Le Gardeur de Tilly.

Smiling as maids to her majesty were Miss Megann Elizabeth Jones, whose mother is Mrs. Lisa Brunner, and Miss Courtney Lauren LaChute, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven LaChute. Completing the court were demoiselle Stephanie Elaine Rehkopf, daughter of Mr. Ward Stephen Rehkopf and Mrs. Cheryl Lynn Kirby; and Jewel Bearers Sylvie Kahn, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Morris Kahn; Liam Alexander Oufnac, son of Mr. and Mrs. Keith Lester Oufnac; Emma Vallee Passler, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard G. Passler; and Francois Lolol Beals, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Willard Chester Beals.

Queen Camille’s regal gown was of Dupioni silk with a brocade bodice and a veiled, scoop back. Robin Ponthier Rosenthal was the couturiere. Her scepter was adorned with miniature white orchids by Tommy’s Flowers, which did all the flowers for the court.

Shortly after assembling at the Spring Fiesta home on St. Ann Street in the French Quarter, the cortege processed to Jackson Square for the presentation. It began with men, women and children dressed in antebellum attire promenading around the historic square. At 3 p.m., Steven Rosenthal, mayor of Indianola, Mississippi, opened the presentation with a brief history of the organization, which is celebrating its 80th year.

Post ceremony, all went back to the Spring Fiesta house to prepare for the carriage parade that began on Rampart Street, was led by a brass band and made its way through the Quarter. Special thanks tapped Barbara Richmond, the parade organizer of 33 years. En route to the JW Marriott for the 80th birthday gala “Night in Old New Orleans,” Dr. Edward and Janice Foulks and Houstonian Morgan Bernard toasted the queen in front of Irene’s Cuisine. As the parade continued, Camille and the court tossed flowers to onlookers.

At the JW Marriott, and after the playing of the national anthem, master of ceremonies Dr. Ken Mann led a salute to SF President Tyra Treadway as she was given a bouquet of roses. Promenades and presentations ensued with fanfare heralding the queen.“My Own True Love” was the musical accompaniment. As regal Camille walked about the floor, she performed a “royal rocker,” a courtly gesture, in front of her proud mother, Tara.

During the continuation of the formalities, past queens in attendance were recognized, the court had a first dance, a fine dinner rated compliments and the assembly enjoyed lively dancing into the night.

Family members of the queen included sister Mignon Le Gardeur de Tilly (a demoiselle in 2009), uncle Darrin Doskey, royal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Peter H. Doskey and cousin Erin Moody from Indiana. Also noted were the Steven Rosenthals, the Robert Anciras, Californians Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Humphreys, John O. “Jack” Breeden Jr., SF Treasurer Laurel Reid, 2003 queen Ardyn Treadway, Erin Poole, and Mr. and Mrs. Gary E. Diecidue.

Reflecting on this special honor and all the attributes of her royal role, Camille beamed and said, “Enchanting.”

A Paschal Parade

On Easter Sunday, members of the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade gathered at Antoine’s Restaurant for a Continental breakfast prior to their carriage ride through the French Quarter. Decorative touches were the much-admired baskets filled with stuffed bunnies and special Easter treasures, including that of HFQEP President Amy Carbonette Cioll, which, containing tulips and roses, was voted “most festive.”

To launch the activity, President Amy (with sister Madeline Carbonette) and husband Nick led the entourage to the carriages and convertibles for the parade. After winding its way through several Vieux Carre streets, the procession stopped at St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica for Mass celebrated by Archbishop Gregory Aymond. In his observance of the overflowing congregation, he commented on the many pretty hats.

The parade then returned to Antoine’s, where the participants regaled restaurant patrons with a promenade and the giving of Easter bunnies. Then, and ensconced in the Japanese Room, Janice Foulks and the officers welcomed the parade participants and introduced the restaurant’s Yvonne Blount. Lunch followed with such treats as crawfish bisque, chicken Rochambeau and baked Alaska with chocolate sauce. As guests relished their meal, they admired the table decorations of rose, parsley and carrot arrangements, antique alabaster eggs and bunny figurines coordinated by sisters Rachel and Mary Kincaid.

In addition to Amy and Nick Cioll, notables included the above Janet Foulks with husband Dr. Edward Foulks and Carol Greve; Susan and Al Guillot; Bonnie Lee and Walter; Penny Baum; Lynn Abide; Laura Grasso; Julie and John Herlihy (hosts of the parade cocktail party on the eve) and her son, David Muller; Charlene and Dr. Tim Peterson and her sister, Betty Laizer; Jane Miller; Karen Villavaso; Pam and Larry Pickett; Cindy and Jim Janecke; three Navarres in Kim, Rene and Andre; Pat and Greg Kahn; Terry and Dr. Thomas Keister; and Ruth De La Cerda. All for hoppy hobnobbing!

  • Pre-Parade Royalty and Revelry

The Piazza d’Italia was abuzz on a recent Sunday morning, when the Italian American Marching Club held a festival to launch its celebrations prior to the annual parade. A highlight of the multifaceted fun was the crowning of Miss Kalie Badalamenti Catoire Hyde, daughter of Emmett and Cherie Hyde, as queen. Her grandfather, Ed Catoire, is the club president. Surrounding queen Kalie were 80 maids, who made an impressive picture in their finery. They were announced by parade coordinator Peter Gilberti and escorted by their fathers or grandfathers, and then, in front of the majestic waterfall fountains of the Piazza, danced the tarantella.

Special Parade Marshal Lena Prima, a singer and daughter of the late Louis Prima, serenaded the crowd with such songs as “That’s Amore.”

All the while, folks enjoyed muffalettas and Italian desserts.

Taking in this excitement, the club’s 46th annual Pre-Parade Celebration in anticipation of the St. Joseph’s Day Parade, were IAMC co-founder Judge Anthony J. Russo (with Linda), who announced the 2016 Grand Marshal, actor Joseph Siravo; Special Marshal Joseph Zolfo, “NCIS New Orleans” producer; Ilene Catoire and Julie Gilberti, with spouses Ed and Peter; IAMC Caesar Armando A. Asaro; and maid organizer Marlo Christensen with husband Eric .

Also, Earl St. Germain, Morris Vaccarella Jr. and Susan, Michael Calderone, Judge Charles and Carolyn Imbornone, Joseph and June Cannizzaro, George and Fay Cortello, Darryl Cortello, Donald Rouzano, Claude Maraldo, Dr. Joseph Cusimano, Mark and Norene Fonte, Kenny Licata, Sal Cerino, Sidney M. Cerami, and Cheryl and Herb Montalbano.