LSU plays its first football game of the season Sunday night, but Mardi Gras events are already filling our calendar, and Fat Tuesday isn’t until March 5.
Dr. Jacob Francis Henderson and Dr. Elise Scallan Lalonde were crowned King and Queen Artemis XVIII on Aug. 25 at the krewe's 18th annual coronation at LSU’s Lod Cook Alumni Center. They will reign along with members of their royal court on Jan. 19 at the krewe’s Mardi Gras Soirée.
The king and queen were followed by Royal Maids Abby Frances Blaize, daughter of Marci and Charles Blaize, and Leanne Adams Livingston, daughter of Sarah and Craig Livingston; and Royal Dukes James Allen Lalonde III, son of the queen and husband Dr. Jimmy Lalonde, and Kirby Pierce Koch, son of Stacy and Don Koch.
Members of the junior court include Princesses Hadley Francis Henderson and Jillian Laine Henderson, daughters of the king and wife Mimi Henderson; Junior Dukes Landry Paul Holden, son of Sandy and Micah Holden, and Justin Joseph Oubre, son of Dr. Benton and Laura Oubre; and Pages Camille Adele Funes, daughter of Dr. Christopher and Kelsey Funes; Genevieve Chancellor LeBlanc, daughter of Dr. Michael and Jill LeBlanc; Nolan Patrick Rahm, son of Shannon and David Rahm; and Houston James Young, son of Kelly Higgins and Landon Young.
Making their final promenade were 2018 King Don Bergeron and Queen Stephanie Possa, who were presented their past royalty medallions by krewe Captain Joanne Harvey. Joining them for one more moment in the spotlight were Maids Ella Clark and Whitney Hamilton, and Dukes Benton Davis and Dalton Major.
Members of Karnival Krewe de Louisiane’s 2019 royal court gathered at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center on Aug. 23 for a cocktail party and tour of the facilities. It’s a great way for the krewe to see firsthand where the money they raise is spent, and as krewe President Marilyn Starks pointed out, this krewe has raised more than $3 million in 30-plus years of Carnival fun.
The krewe doesn’t formally announce its court until Oct. 25, so I’m not going to steal anyone’s thunder. But I will tell you the king and queen are children of two former queens who were instrumental in founding the krewe 32 years ago. They were also paired up when presented by Karnival Krewe as a duke and deb during their college days.
Stay tuned, this is going to be a fun year as we “party for a purpose.”
I didn’t get to stay for the tour because I had to head over to LSU’s Lod Cook Alumni Center, where the Baton Rouge Alumni Chapter was hosting its season kickoff dinner. As guests sipped libations and noshed on tasty hors d’oeuvres, they watched a live broadcast of “Hanging with Hester” featuring former Tiger Jacob Hester and LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri. Also coming by for a chat was Athletic Director Joe Alleva.
At the dinner, chapter President Jim Parr reminded everyone that all proceeds from the event would be used to fund the chapter's scholarships. He introduced Shea Dixon of 24/7 Sports, who shared his take on the upcoming season with a room full of fans. That was followed by an all-LSU style show featuring fashions from the LSU Alumni Gift Shop.
The absolute highlight of the night was the LSU Coaches Feud, hosted by Guaranty Broadcasting’s Gordy Rush. Now, I’ve always known gymnastics coach D-D Breaux was competitive but let’s just say she DOES NOT LIKE TO LOSE — at anything! She was captain of Team Gold in this LSU trivia competition, which included men's golf coach Dennis Shaver, women's tennis coach Michael Sell, women’s softball coach Beth Torina and women's gymnastics assistant coach Jay Clark. LSU basketball coach Will Wade was captain of the Team Purple, which include Lady Tigers basketball coach Nikki Fargas, men's tennis coach Andy Brandi, beach volleyball coach Russell Brock and women's golf coach Garrett Runion. D-D and Will went back and forth in good-natured fun the whole night, each pleading their team’s case before the judges as to who had the correct answer first.
So, do you know who started the tradition of the Tigers walking down the hill on game day? Or what the tradition is on Feb. 14 at midnight in front of the LSU Memorial?
Of Moving Colors
The week started off at Of Moving Colors’ Byrde’s Dancers Scholarship Luncheon at Juban’s. The fund was established by Susan Lipsey in memory of her mother, Bryde Haspel. It provides scholarships for promising young dancers who might not otherwise have the opportunity to study dance.
Welcoming everyone was OMC artistic director Garland Goodwin Wilson, who introduced this year’s scholarship recipients. She then turned the mic over to Susan, who shared memories of her mom, who loved all forms of dance and was quick to show off her moves. Attendees heard from board member Cherine Patin, Gwen Hamilton, Whitney Vann and slam poet Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore.
Among the luncheongoers were Laurie Aronson, Heather Day, Kelly Hurtado, Bettsie Baker Miller, Marcia Sanchez, Robyn Merrick, Evelyn Ware Jackson and Fran and Leroy Harvey. Leroy was one of only three brave men in attendance; the other two were Richard Lipsey and Robert Schneckenberger.