On Saturday, Feb. 1, the Riverview Ballroom in the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center was transformed into a glittering speak-easy as the Krewe of Southdowns celebrated its 33rd annual Mardi Gras Ball with a "Return to the Roaring ’20s."
Reigning over the festivities were King Dr. Chris Belleau and Queen Dawn Wilson-Muscarello.
Ball Captain Amy Moore and Co-captain Sylvia Wilson welcomed spangled flappers and their sleek partners to an evening of hot jazz and bathtub gin.
James Wilson emceed the evening, which included the presentation of last year’s royalty, King Thom Harris and Queen Sylvia Wilson, who presented the royal scepters to the new king and queen.
Attending the king were Sheik Weston Christopher Belleau and Sheba Kaily Elizabeth Belleau. Attending the queen were proud National Woman’s Party members Janet Schwingel Buchert, Staci Lynn Sundmaker and Delanie Coye Sundmaker.
Dancing Girls Captain Ky Burke and the Deco Divas shimmied a royal welcome. Next, Flambeaux Bootleggers Greg Albrecht, Hudson Chesteen, Walter Fahr, Tad Haller, John Hogan, Jeff Darvill, Ali Christopherson and Brigitte Reulet presented their finest hooch to the royal couple.
Krewe of Southdowns parade founder Dr. Will Gladney, accompanied by Tycoon Elizabeth Delaney, Barrister Joe Simmons and Magnate Terri Du Cote, called for the official parade forecast.
Krewe Wizard Mim Aretsky predicted clear skies and rising stock prices, while the Ministers of Communication, Logistics and Line-Up Kevin Stuart, Justin Moore, Phil Adams, Kurt Ghirardi and Danny Bagaley pronounced all in order.
Grand Krewe Captain Gus Wilkes then called for the "Roaring ’20s Historical Review of the Krewes."
First came Pigs, Loose and Gleaux, representing Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis. Duckbusters, Yazoo and Woo Hoo rolled by in their gilded Pierce-Arrow. Tailgate, Du Monde and Lyonnesse hustled by in full dance marathon mode, followed by flagpole sitters and goldfish swallowers St. Aloysius, Potter and Voodoo.
Next Holla-Peneaux, Fish and Krewe d’Etrangers entered as the wits of the Algonquin Round Table. The Funfettis, the Baton Rouge Roller Bladers and the Bloco Jare Brazilian Drummers celebrated Hollywood and the invention of the talkies.
Finally, ringing in the Jazz Age, came the Krewe of Bones, made up of Surgical Center Nurses, colleagues of the king.
After the tableau, the queen addressed her subjects as the king played a short suite for trombone, harmonica and Cajun accordion.
All adjourned to dinner and dancing to the deep rhythm and soul of Patrick Henry and the Liberation Band.