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Krewe of Southdowns Queen Michele Roach and King David Gleason

Queen Michele Roach and King David Gleason ruled over the Krewe of Southdown's 31st annual Mardi Gras Ball on Jan. 27 the Lyceum Dean.

Purple and gold satin draped between tall classical columns, hand-painted royal flags and medallions of previous years’ doubloons announced the parade theme, "The Renaissance." Ball Captain Mary Gladney and Lady Amy Moore, Duchess Sylvia Wilson and Marquess Dawn Muscarella welcomed all to the evening’s revelry.

On emcee Mike Raborn’s cue, Dancing Girls Captain Ky Burke and her troupe of royal trumpeters heralded the arrival of the king, who hails from the Krewe of Potter, and the queen, from the Krewe of Voodoo. The king, Guardian of the Arts, and queen, Patroness of Science, mounted the Golden Palmetto Throne, splendidly refurbished by Royal Master Carpenter Tad Haller.

The king was attended by Princesses Erin Gleason and Mary Catherine Carville. The queen was attended by Ladies-in-Waiting Leigh Redman and Tami Rodney.

Last year’s royalty, King Jesse Gladney and Queen Adelaide Gladney, presented their scepters to the new monarchs, and parade founder Dr. William Gladney and the Privy Council, Chamberlain Elizabeth Delaney, Barrister Joe Simmons and Keeper of the Treasure Terri DuCote, took their places.

The review of the Flambeau Guard, conducted by Flambeau Captains Bill Bolan, Jeff Darvill, Tad Haller, John Hogan and James Wilson followed. Lords of the Lot Danny Bagaley, Justin Moore and Phil Adams and Logistical Master Kurt Ghirardi attested to the security of the parade route. Court Wizard Jesse Gladney performed the arcane rites for propitious weather on parade night.

Parade Captain and Renaissance Man Gus Wilkes began the roll call of the krewes. Bearing the banner of Erasmus came the scholars of De Funk, Du Monde, Duck Busters and Fish. Waving Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man strutted the sculptors and painters of Gleaux, Holla-Peneaux, Loose Krewe, and Lyonnesse. In the name of Machiavelli marched the courtiers and ambassadors of Madness, Pecans, Potter and Pigs. And under the banner of Galileo, strode the scientists and visionaries of Saints Alive, Tailgate, Voodoo, Woo Hoo and Yazoo.

The court celebrated with a banquet provided by Let Us Cater for You, of New Orleans, before dancing to Patrick Henry and the Liberation Band.