King Matt Saurage and Queen Wendy Haspel Lipsey reigned over the 32nd annual Karnival Krewe de Louisiane Ball on Friday, Feb. 15, at the Raising Cane's River Center.

The theme of the ball, Circus de Louisiane, started outside with two fire poi spinners and continued into the lobby with silhouette images of circus performers, a roaring lion and a clown. Inside the hall, a red and yellow circus tent draped the area with three mannequin aerialists hanging above and elephants on platforms on both sides of the hall. The stage’s backdrop featured images of vintage circus performers.

Ball Captain Dr. Steve Sherman served as the Ringmaster of Ceremonies. Presented in the tableau were Duke David M. Richardson and Duchess Shelton Jones, Duke John Everett and Duchess Mary Ann Yeargain, Duke Jordan Piazza and Duchess Sharon Poirrier, Duke Preston Castille and Duchess Lisa Guarisco, and Duke Stephen Waguespack and Duchess Dr. Jennifer Greeson.

Also presented were the krewe’s 2019 debutante coterie with their escorts: Lauren Ashleigh Baronet, escorted by her father James Baronet II; Ella Grace Bollinger, escorted by her father, Timothy Bollinger; Rylie Caroline Brown, escorted by her father David Brown; Juliet Claire Fontenot, escorted by her father, Gregory Fontenot; Alayna Agnes Landry, escorted by her father, Curtis Landry Jr.; Lee Ann LeMaire, escorted by her father, Chad LeMaire; Hannah Marie Loy, escorted by her father, Shawn Loy; Lindsey Elizabeth Lutgring, escorted by her father, Michael Lutgring; Elise Marie Marchand, escorted by her father, Gerald Marchand; Margaret Ann Miller, escorted by her father, John Miller; Alexandra Macé Nelson, escorted by her father, Otha “Curtis” Nelson; Jessica Susan Robinson, escorted by her brother, Joel M. Robinson Jr.; Lauren Michel Saunders, escorted by her father, Henri Saunders; and Anushka Singh, escorted by her father, Dr. Raman Singh.

Following the presentation, krewe board President Marilyn Starks presented a $230,000 check, representing the krewe’s yearlong fundraising efforts to benefit cancer patients in the community, to representatives from Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center. On hand for the presentation were members of the Lane family of Gerry Lane Enterprises, presenting sponsor of the event.

Grand Marshal R. Andrew Patty II, dressed as a classic circus clown, then led a second line, followed by the parade, which included members of the bands from Southern University and McKinley and Scotlandville high schools, the Baton Rouge Goldwing Road Riders, Red Stick Roller Derby and iHeart Media and Guaranty Broadcasting vehicles. The McKinley High School JROTC assisted backstage and during the parade.

The Bayou Cirque performers included a dancing trapeze artist, a double acro performer, a LED hoop performer, tumblers, stilt walkers, globe walkers, jugglers and cyr wheel performers. The Bucktown All-Stars provided dance music. 

In addition to presenting sponsoring Gerry Lane Enterprises, corporate ball sponsors were: Platinum — WVLA Local33/WGMB Fox44; Gold — Berkshire Hathaway/United Properties; Excel Modular Scaffold and Ryson Roofing; Silver — Anton’s Fine Jewelry; General Informatics; InRegister; LUBA Workers’ Comp and Torapath Technology; Associate — Baton Rouge Coca-Cola Co.; Bauder Family; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Bernhard; Bradley-Blewster and Associates; CMA Technology Solutions; Colby Constructors; DISA Global Solutions; Dr. David D. Hanson and Dr. Jolene K. Johnson; Dr. Dale J. Politz, DDS and Associates; Dr. Stan and Mrs. Charlene Montelaro; Dr. Taylor Theunissen, MD — Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; Eatel Business; Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System; Garrety & Associates, CPAs; Grady Crawford Construction Co.; Gulf Coast Occupational Medicine; Hollis Orthodontics; Home Bank; Lipsey's/Haspel; Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center (Corporate); Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center Foundation; MMR Group, Inc.; Motion Industries /Drago Supply Division; Oncology Solutions, (The Chartis Group); Our Lady of the Lake Foundation; Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; Phelps Dunbar LLP; Regions Bank; Sheehy, Ware & Pappas; Taylor, Porter, Brooks and Phillips LLP; The Loy Group at Morgan Stanley; The Neuromedical Center — Dr. and Mrs. Luke Corsten; Varsity Sports; Vascular Specialty Center and WED Medical II.

For more information about Karnival Krewe de Louisiane, visit karnivalkrewe.com.