Mardi Gras is winding down here in the Capital City. Last weekend, I got to attend two of my very favorite balls — Spanish Town and the Krewe of Apollo. As I write this, my feet are still trying to recover from all the dancing. Be sure and visit for more photos from both events.

Spanish Town

Chris Frink and Frankie Moore reigned as king and queen of this year’s Spanish Town Mardi Gras Ball Jan. 23 at the River Center Exhibition Hall. “Wee Mary” Alice Gray is this year’s Grand Marshal, and her big day will be Feb. 6 when the parade rolls through downtown at noon.

The River Center was packed, as usual, with all manner of costumed partygoers celebrating as only the Spanish Town krewe can. Musical entertainment for the first half of the evening was by the Robert Randolph Band; a great way to kick things off. After the presentation of the royal court, which had Chris getting in touch with his feminine side and Frankie showing off her stripper pole techniques, the Bucktown All Stars took the stage. I spent the rest of the night on the dance floor with Leonard Augustus, Thomas Telhiard and LeBrian “Mr. Chocolishous” Patrick.

I also got to party with Whitney Vann, Judy and Gabe Jumonville, David Manship and Alice Lamar, Gracie Rigell, Kelly Thorgeson, Ann and Duz Hamilton, Claire and Steve Broyles, Gabe Loubiere and Brooke Strikeleather, Jan Reeves, Brittney Weiss, Corey Tullier, Trina Edwards, Marsanne Goldsby, Leanne Weill, Megan and Adam Knapp, Cheryl and Joe Macaluso and Laura and Ken Duhé.

I think it’s safe to say a good time was had by all!

Krewe of Apollo

I was hanging out at the River Center the night before, too. This time with the Krewe of Apollo, which was celebrating its 35th anniversary Bal Masque. I had the honor of being a guest of krewe founder and Captain Emeritus Larry Fremin. Joining me for the fun was friend Terri LeBlanc.

It was a beautiful tableau, fitting for this auspicious anniversary. Larry and I both remarked on how our mutual friend, the late Don “DJ” Johnson, was smiling down from heaven on the festivities. I count myself blessed to have this group, who I met through DJ, a part of my life; that they let me celebrate such special moments with them.

Washington Mardi Gras

The week started off Jan. 20 at the Governor’s Mansion and the traditional coffee hosted by the governor and first lady for the princesses and festival queens being presented by the Mystik Krewe of Louisianans during Washington Mardi Gras. The threat of freezing temps and snow didn’t put a damper on the mood of those headed to the nation’s capital.

The krewe resurrected a tradition in having the governor crown the queen at the coffee. Newly sworn in Gov. John Bel Edwards took great pleasure in placing the crown on the head of Baton Rouge native Anna Aronson, daughter of Laurie and Mark Aronson and granddaughter of Susan and Richard Lipsey, who served on Edwards’ transition team.

“This is the most fun thing I’ve had to do as governor,” he told the young women. “I have two daughters who did this, and it was one of the best experiences of their lives. I’m proud to have you represent the state of Louisiana.”

As he and wife Donna posed for photos with the girls, a commemorative pin that can also be worn as a necklace was presented to each one of them.

Baton Rouge princesses included Aisha Marie Brady, daughter of Janie and Todd Brady; Sarah Loren Clark, daughter of Karen and Tom Clark; Elizabeth Rayne Davenport, daughter of Lucy and Craig Davenport; Rachael Kathleen Hill, daughter of Jackie and Trey Hill; Theresa Faith Hudson, daughter of Rose Hudson and Donovan Hudson; Khoury Myhand Ieyoub, daughter of Caprice and Richard Ieyoub; Lillian Kate LaGrange, daughter of Caroline and Thomas LaGrange III; Rebecca Anne Lawler, daughter of Dr. Charles and Catherine Lawler; Meredith Ann and Riley Shannon McKernan, daughters of Shannon and Gordon McKernan; and Leslie Claire Purpera, daughter of Wendy and Ronnie Johnson.

Lafayette princesses included Ashley Kathryn Herrera, daughter of Allison and Juan Herrera; Ann Elizabeth Perret, daughter of Cheryl and Louis Perret; Mia Cherie Schorr, daughter of Natalie and Stephen Schorr; and Hannah Catherine Chalkley Werner, daughter of Mary and Joel Werner.

Festival queens included Bailey Nicole Fournier, of Baton Rouge, daughter of Sheryl and Denny Sicard, Farm Bureau Federation; Grace Anne Fornea, of Bogalusa, daughter of Sharon and Thomas Fornea, Independence Day (Paper); Cori Elizabeth Granier, of Plaquemine, daughter of Tonya Comeaux, International Acadian; Kristin Brielle Hamilton, of Breaux Bridge, daughter of Nicole Hamilton and Timothy Hamilton, Crawfish; Ann-Riley Lane, of Lafayette, daughter of Marianne and Clif Lane, Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association; Oakley Neyland Montgomery, of Lafayette, daughter of Deidre and Tommy Montgomery, Order of Troubadours; Chelsea Morgan Noël, of Scott, daughter of Roz and Daniel Noël, Boudin; Emily Paige Ogea, of Gueydan, daughter of Donna and Sonny Ogea, Duck; Danielle Elizabeth Rodriguez, of Ponchatoula, daughter of Cindy and Dane Rodriguez, Strawberry; and Sarah Elizabeth Saunier, of New Iberia, daughter of Neely and Leonard Saunier, Sugar Cane.

PEO Founders Day

In the midst of all the Mardi Gras celebrations, I joined the 11 Baton Rouge PEO chapters on Jan. 21 to celebrate Founders Day with a lovely luncheon at Oak Lodge Reception Center. The event was hosted by the Baton Rouge Reciprocity Bureau, chaired by Janie Keller, of Chapter AF. Special guests for the luncheon were state officers Margaret Berry, president; Laura Parris, vice president; Janie Saxon, organizer; Melanie Melville, treasurer; and Kris Lyons, secretary.

A delightful and informative program on the seven young women who founded the sisterhood in 1869 at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, was presented by Gail Alexander, Vicki Johnston, Jean Roberts and Nona Spence.

I had much fun visiting with my tablemates from Chapter K — Kathy Baker, Maura Malone, Ann Middleton, Rosemary Monaco, Cynthia Snyder and Beverly Varnado. Thanks for letting me join you, ladies!

Hangin’ it up

Later that night, husband Jim and I joined good friend André Uzee in celebrating his retirement from Dexco Polymers, which got him when it bought out his business from Dow Chemical. He and wife Melanie hosted a scrumptious wine dinner at Matherne’s Kenilworth store for a group of friends and co-workers.

After 35 years at Dow and almost five with Dexco, André had a lot to celebrate! And, if you’ve got kids or grandchildren who’ve worn disposable diapers, or you’re approaching the age where you may need them yourself, make a toast to André. He’s responsible for the adhesive tab fasteners.

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