Melanie Gross Cannatella said being queen of the Krewe of Lourdes means a lot to her because her family involvement goes back to the earliest years of the ball, which started about 70 years ago to raise funds for Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Violet.

“As a child, I went to the Lourdes balls, and I’m truly honored to be the queen,” Cannatella said.

She will reign at the 69th annual Lordes Carnival Ball at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Frederick Sigur Civic Center, 8245 W. Judge Perez Drive, in Chalmette. A supper dance will take place in the adjacent Grand Ballroom, immediately following the ball.

Cannatella, a native of St. Bernard Parish, lives in Slidell. She is the national sales director for Pharmavite Corp. Her community involvement includes serving as the Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial executive director emeritus, Women and Men of Fashion, Cancer Crusaders, and she is a member of the Krewe of Muses. 

involvement in many civic and community groups including the Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial as Executive Director Emeritus, Women and Men of Fashion, Cancer Crusaders, and a member of the Krewe of Muses.

Reigning as king will be Desi M. Vega, who owns four restaurants including his namesake Desi Vega Steakhouse. He opened his first restaurant in Chalmette in 2003. After Hurricane Katrina shut him down, he teamed with other businessmen to form the St. B Relief and served 4,000 meals three times a day for over eight months to volunteers, first responders, military and displaced residents in what became known as Tent City.

Captains for Lourdes are Danielle Marie Lemoine and Beth Froeba Seamon. Lemoine and her husband, Glen McInerney, have two children. She works for the Department of Commerce. Seamon, whose husband is Raymond G. Seamon, has three children and three grandchildren. She lives in Mandeville and owns the Silver Plum, an online children’s clothing and gift store.

The ball theme, “It’s a Novel Idea,” which will focus on literature. The ball is free and open to the public. Cocktail attire is required for the general seating in the balcony area. The supper dance tickets are $65 per person. A supper dance ticket includes a breakfast buffet, the live band Harvey Jesus and Fire, and soft-drink setups. To purchase tickets for the supper dance, call Lena Nunez at (504) 491-5266.

In addition to the royalty and captains, pages to the queen will be: Charlotte Rose Dabdoub, Presley Mae Dabdoub and Dylan Edward Nunez. Maids will be: Meghan Elizabeth Hogan, Judge Jeanne Nunez Juneau, Alicia LeBlanc Maenza, Baylee Alexis McInerney, Sharon Heier Noto, Carlee Marie Nunez, Lori Ann Ramsey and Yevette Guillory Robin.

Ladies in waiting will be: Stella Rose Caruso, Camille Odinet Comeaux, Beatrice Jane DeFraites, Elyse Claire Dysart, Aubrey Rae Elisar, Morgan Claire Hunnicutt, Blakely Marian Nuccio, Lauren Layne Odinet, Emma Elise Rogers, Harper Elise Robin and Lainey Marie Robin and Audrey Grace Tweedy.

Escorts to the ladies in waiting will be: Mason Joseph Caruso, Carson Paul Chiappetta, Collin Ross Chiappetta, Beau William Grueninger, Brody Gregory Grueninger, Quinn Noel Lemoine, Talon Nicholas Lemoine, Michael Joseph Maenza Jr., Brayden Joseph Nuccio, Brennan Dean Russo, Bronson Dominick Russo and Henry Thomas Tweedy.

Junior maids will be: Madeleine Abigail DeFraites, Aubrey Marie Lane, Sophia Michelle Majors, Halli Claire Melerine, Londyn Bellin Melerine, Grace Irma Morel and Victoria Jane Sanders.

Karlie Marie Schaubhut and Jack Anthony Fradella will be pages to the king. Dukes will be: David V. Ernst, Henry J. Maitre III, James S. Massacci Jr., Guy S. McInnis, Kerry P. Pellegrini, Bryan M. Polk, Michael A. Rholdon  and William P. Trist.

Lieutenants will be Lisamarie K. Brandon, Kara J. Colburn, Nicole D. Dysart, Roxanne P. Gray, Stacey G. Harris, Vicky M. Morales and Tracie P. Palma.

Nemesis Parade accepting riders

Knights of Nemesis President Kevin Hoffman said the krewe is still accepting riders for its 14th annual parade, which will roll at 1 p.m. Feb. 23.

Nemesis, formed in 2004, is the only St. Bernard Parish Mardi Gras parade. The group also has monthly socials and picks its royalty at its annual summertime Hawaiian Luau dance. Dues are $250. To join or for information, call Jim Bennett at (504) 650-2663, Billy Showalter at (504) 583-3998 or visit

Karen Turni Bazile writes about people and events in St. Bernard Parish. She can be reached at