The Krewe of Orion celebrated its 20th year with a parade through the streets of downtown Baton Rouge, followed by a Masquerade Ball on Saturday at the Raising Cane's River Center.
King Orion XX Chad Joseph Coppola and Queen Orion XX Sonya David Morris reigned over the festivities. Coppola is the husband of Queen Orion XVIII, Crystal Coppola, and the son of King Orion VI, the late Donald Coppola, and Tomie Melancon Coppola. The queen is the wife of krewe lieutenant Jason Morris and the daughter of Carole David and the late Wesley David.
The black-tie gala opened with appearances of krewe captain Darren Coates and krewe President Charles Harvey. Krewe directors Brian Banta, Dustin Brown, Frank Coates, Bobby Hilburn, Gary O’Neal, Larry Rosendahl, Rick White and Josh Wilkinson appeared on various floats throughout the lineup. Last year’s King Orion XIV Jeremy Couvillion also greeted the crowd.
Court members Ashlynn Renee Howell, daughter of Dr. Todd Howell and Lori Fernandez, representing "Futuristic," and Lindsey Elise Lanehart, daughter of Scott and Andrea Landhart, representing "Early Americans," were then presented as the 2018 maids of Orion.
Pages to the queen were Kailie Blythe, the daughter of Jessica and Justin Blythe, and Halle Kuriger, the daughter of Paige and Kurt Kuriger Jr. Pages to the king were Ian Grant Coates and Ryder Lee Coates, the sons of Toby and Elliot Coates.
The title float, with lieutenants Brian Banta, Dustin Brown and Ben Fromentha, introduced this year’s parade theme, “Orion Time Travels.”
Floats that followed included “Carnival Cats,” with float lieutenants Jason Morris, Chris Sadler and Butch Sonnier; “Mexican Revolution” with lieutenants Eric Guerin and Ryan Guerin; “Piracy in the Caribbean” with lieutenants Paul Vaught and Marty Horn; and “Roman Times” with lieutenants Joseph Johnston, Chad Dunlap and Benjamin Carlton.
“Sword and Shield” had two floats and were anchored by float lieutenants P.D. Hill, Ronald Lebouef, Thad Foreman, Tom Havilla, Lee Hunsucker and Brian Kutz. A special charity float with Families Helping Families followed.
“Golden Age of Hollywood” had as lieutenants Kevin Denoux and Josh Rhodes, while “Industrial Revolution” was led by Kyle Smith, James Warren and Scott Lanehart. “Age of the Vikings” featured Bryan Jeansonne, David Renoud, Christopher Rosendahl, Larry Rosendahl and Wayne Vizzini. “Orion’s Last in Line” led by Chad Reynolds, Blain Houston and Stan Sellers, ended the presentation.
Mistress of ceremonies for the ball was Whitney Vann, with dance music by the band After 8. The krewe costumes were made by Karen Massett, of Masquerade Costumes of New Orleans. Court costumes were designed and executed by Carol Guion.