Holiday Happenings

All the News That’s Fit

The good news came from her majesty, who — during the course of the pre-ball party for which she requested the presence of her nearest and dearest and her court — said how excited she was in anticipation of her reign. “It will be so wonderful to share it with my family and friends.”

Garnering the spotlight for hours at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center was Miss Helen Denechaud Charbonnet, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Taylor Charbonnet, who wore the Harlequins crown at its annual masked ball. She succeeded Miss Caroline McDaniel Hughs, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Denson Hughs III.

The 25 maids to queen Helen were Misses Isabel Emay Baird, Katherine Grace Bickford, Renee Elizabeth Breaux, Halle Grace Briede, Mary Bouligny Brown, Grace Mehurin Challenger (daughter of the 1970 Harlequins queen, who reigned as Penn Mehurin), Faith Mary Margaret Coffman, Katherine Elizabeth Page Curtis, Mittie Grace Doyle, Mary Katherine Shelton Fitzpatrick, Catherine Montgomery Glorioso and Carol Frances Guidry. And Misses Stirling Anne Kennedy, Ann Marcelle Lafranca, Isabel Susan Lane, Martha Grace Benedict Lapeyre, Vivienne Claire Lapeyre, Caroline Loftin Martin, Mary Claire Ledet McCoy, Margaret Louise Craft Patin, Katherine Quealy Schaumberg, Camille Claiborne Shall, Sadie Elizabeth Taylor, Susan Caroline Toso and Katherine Grace Walshe.

Quite a few have families with longtime Harlequins connections.

In addition, there were seven debutantes presented who were in the court of Harlequins: Misses Sydney Freeman Bickford, Caroline Louise Chunn, Isabel Catherine Gibson, Katherine Randolph Jacobs (who was the Harlequins queen two years ago), Amelie Elizabeth Lagarde, Madeleine DeHaven Landry and Jessica Carter Schaumberg. Mrs. William Alexander Vickery was limelighted as the matron.

A foursome tended to the duties as pages: Masters George Wogan Bernard III, Olivier Clement Dabezies Jr., Michael Joseph Major Jr. and Kermit Louis Roux IV.

Additional youngsters were Tableau Children Madison Anne Able, Andrew Leclerc Amoss, Robert David Amoss, William Rush Benton, Charles Edmondson Bewley, Collins Perez Dabezies, Michael Paul Dawson, Olivia Frances Eichin, John Murdock Highsmith, John Littleton LeBlanc, Douglas Michael Lemaire, Mary Margaret Mackenroth, Amy Elizabeth Mackenroth, Madeleine Elizabeth McNabb, Charles David Melancon, Ellen Parker Mueller, Graham Mears Ralston Jr., James Marshall Robert, Leah Marguerite Swanson and Royce Dean Yount III.

Now for another kind of news: Fake News. The “HNN, Harlequins News Network: All the News Not Fit to Broadcast” underscored the satirical theme of the ball.

News of monarchal loveliness was projected by Miss Charbonnet, who wore a gown by Royal House Design made of embroidered floral lace and highlighted by Swarovski rhinestones and trim, and silver beads. Pops of brightness came from set rhinestones and loch rosens. Completing the regal picture were the organization’s mantle and collar, as well as her crown, scepter and jewels.

She drew widespread admiration, especially from those seated in choice box seats, such as her mother Mrs. Charbonnet, grandmother Mrs. Michael Denechaud Charbonnet (at whose Metairie home the early reception was held), sister Miss Julia Anne Charbonnet (who was the Krewe of Mystery queen in 2018), Miss Kathleen Pierce Gibbons (the 2017 Squires queen) and Mmes. David Cartan Loker Gibbons Jr., Michael Quigley Keegan, William Stewart Hammond, Peter Carey Schaumber, and David Barr Gooch. Also, Misses Holland Taylor Keegan, Haley Reese Hammond and Erin Curry Reily.

Her majesty received queenly training from Mrs. Jason William Adriance, the former Mary-Frances “Muffin” Labouisse, who reigned over three Carnival balls. She was in attendance, as were Mmes. George Wogan Bernard III, Timothy Charles Brennan, John Roache Cook IV, Degan Joseph Dansereau, David Cartan Loker Gibbons, Charles E. Hardin, Gerard Anthony Plauche, Gerald Francis Plough, James Harrington Reily, John Charles Saunders, Charles Frederick Seemann III, Michael Q. Walshe Jr. and Paul Nelson. Noted, too, were Ms. Katherine Larson Thompson, the 2013 Harlequins queen, and Ms. Kathryn Prechter. Many were asked to dance to the music of the Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra.

After the gala ball, which had Mr. Brett Alden Clesi as general chairman, it was on to the Queen’s Supper and late-night merriment. The band No Idea played, generating lots of dancing. However, all the attendees had a clear idea about the thrills of the evening and the regality of queen Helen, who made Harlequins news. Good news.

Dinner at Eight

When guests perused the silver bordered, cream-colored invitation, they noticed the wording of “Cocktails at 7 p.m., Dinner at 8 p.m.” This was for the annual Medical Staff Physician Holiday Dinner and Dance given by Ochsner Medical Center-West Bank and located at the Roosevelt New Orleans. White roses in large glass bowls with red poinsettias embellished the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom, where a Martini Bar was an attraction as attendees enjoyed the hors d’oeuvre array.

When it was time to sit, a fine menu of roasted carrot soup, potato gnocchi and pork belly, blood orange sorbet, sea bass, lamb loin and a dessert selection pleased the collective palate. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin “Yellow Label” was the accompanying Champagne.

Luminaries were medical staff 2018 President Dr. Scott Habetz with wife Julie, hospital CEO Mary Deynoodt with spouse Mann, Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Michael Boucree with Ivan Griffin, immediate past Chief of Staff Dr. Robert Shackleton with Kim and Chief of Medicine Department Dr. Alberto Lopez with Jennifer.

And Drs. Laura Nicosia with David, Wanda Robinson, Jean Turner, Ella Choe, Kearny Robert III with Kathleen, Michael Castine with Virginia, Charles Leithead with Kelli, Edwin Ross with Nancy Sophy Jancich, Cornel Rogers with Keisha, Elizabeth Peacock with spouse Jake Rodrigue and Scott Pollack with Jennifer.

At a choice moment, Dr. Habetz thanked the medical staff officers, the governing board members and the executive staff for their continued dedication and service.

Another set of thanks tapped The Yat Pack Band. In the spirit of holiday jubilation, the music makers got the crowd to its feet for some dance floor fun.

New Orleanians' love of fun and festivities is legendary. Join The New Orleans Advocate's Facebook group to follow the who's who of the city and the best parties in town courtesy of society and party experts Nell Nolan and Jeff Strout.