The Krewe of Proteus, celebrating its 138th anniversary, staged its bal masque at the Marriott Hotel on the Monday before Shrove Tuesday.
The ball followed the parade, the oldest nighttime procession in New Orleans, offering a glimpse into the fabled pageantry of the Golden Age of Carnival.
The 11th captain and his many-hued lieutenants escorted this music-filled mystic krewe into another magical Lundi Gras night. The wooden wheeled wagons made their journey featuring the parade’s theme, “Travel and Treasures of the Silk Road.”
This exotic journey through many diverse cultures and landscapes revealed many treasures: From the spice-tinged air of Indonesia to the bustling bazaars of Bukhara, the parade offered up the sights and sounds of these ancient cultural crossroads.
Reigning over the evenings' festivities as queen was Miss Ellen Heidingsfelder Silvia, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Paul Silvia Jr.
The maids to her majesty were Misses McAlister Wynn Brewer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Craig Wren Brewer; Emma Marks Conroy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Kenneth Conroy; Grace Allen Gambel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Christian Gambel Jr.; Katherine Randolph Jacobs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Robert Henri Jacobs; Kristina Britt Johnsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Erik Lee Johnsen; and Olivia Claire O’Keefe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Rush O’Keefe Jr.
The pages were Masters Francis Rivers Lelong III, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lelong Jr.; and Ernest Burton White IV, son of Mr. and Mrs. White III.
After this year's queen and her court were presented to the guests, Proteus could be seen in His misty, undersea world. Assuming mortal form, he stood in front of a giant pink seashell surrounded by fishnet, treasure chests, giant seahorses, fish of every description, and a Hippocampus flanking him on either side. These half-horse and half-fish creatures have become the royal scribes of Proteus. As the orchestra played "Over the Waves," Proteus greeted his subjects as the waves splashed, the vortex of a giant whirlpool loomed increasingly larger, and all the creatures of the sea swam happily about. Following the undersea tableau, the curtain parted to reveal his majesty, the captain, lieutenants, pages and many of the characters from the tableau.
The captain then escorted the queen around the ballroom floor and presented her to a most-pleased Proteus. The maids were presented to their majesties the monarchs led a grand march with the court around the ballroom.
The general chairman of the ball was Mr. James J. Reiss Jr. Assisting as vice-chairmen were Messrs. Alfred W. Brown III; Michael K. Fitzpatrick; Charles E. Heidingsfelder; William H. Hines; Michael W. Kearney; Blair F. Scanlon Jr.; Patrick A. Talley Jr.; and Philip M. Woollam Jr.