“Rain, rain go away. Come again another day!” I’ve found myself singing this childhood ditty recently as constant rain has tried to put a damper on the Capital City’s party scene. I say tried because we’ve not let that happen.
Laurel Street Palooza
Leonard Augustus and his flash mob filled Laurel Street Jan. 11 in spite of the leaky skies to perform for this year’s royalty — King Cary Saurage and Queen Ann Connelly, who made their entrance in a horse-drawn white carriage befitting their titles. This annual street party — always one of my favorites — benefits the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. It’s nothing to see 80-year-olds dancing alongside 2-year-olds, each having the time of their lives.
Of course there’s more to do than dance. There’s yummy food to taste from generous area restaurants, libations to sip and a tempting silent auction to shop.
Serving as master of ceremonies for the evening was Mayor Kip Holden, who issued several proclamations in honor of Saurage and Connelly. He also issued one in honor of Arts Council Board Chairwoman Cheri Ausberry, who was celebrating her birthday that night.
A tip of the hat to Palooza co-chairwomen Kristi Aubrey and Mary Boston, and their committee.
Two days later, it was still raining and I was still sporting my rain boots as I waded through the parking lot of the Time Out Lounge for Spanish Town King Robert King’s celebration. Naturally, there was a plethora of pink-clad royal subjects partying with his majesty and wife Anita. There was also a delicious-smelling spread of comfort food (gumbo, pastalaya, etc.) to keep them all nourished for all of the afternoon’s fun. I mean, it’s really hard to stay seated when Chris LeBlanc and Luther Kent are playing. You just have to hit the dance floor!
Washington Mardi Gras
While local Mardi Gras krewes have been partying since August, Carnival season doesn’t officially get underway until Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, aka Twelfth Night. So naturally that was a very busy day.
I started out at the lovely home of Nanette Noland, who was co-hosting a soirée with daughter Laura Kelley in honor of the king, ball captain, princesses and festival queens reigning at this year’s Washington Mardi Gras festivities in the nation’s capital. Laura is the 2013 queen of the Mystik Krewe of Louisianians. Martin Svendson is her king, and Congressman Bill Cassidy is ball captain.
Iduna past captains
Stop No. 2 was Ruffino’s Restaurant, where the past ball captains of the Krewe of Iduna were getting together for their annual King Cake Party, coordinated by last year’s Ball Captain Roxane Voorhies. The guest list also included past queens and kings, current board members and spouses.
And I’ll bet you’ll never guess what they served for dessert.
House of Walri
My final stop for the night was the annual Twelfth Night Gumbo Supper celebrated by the Krewe of Artemis’ House of Walri float. Kim Morgan and husband Mark opened their home for festivities but unfortunately Kim spent most of the party at the doctor. Seems she had a nasty case of bronchitis but Mark was a real trooper throughout everything — taking care of guests and a sick wife.
In the traditional skit, written by Melanie Uzee, the three wise men (past kings André Uzee and Brett Blanchard and 2013 king David Guitreau) came bearing gifts for special guests including Queen Artemis XII Taylor Kleinpeter, krewe Captain Joanne Harvey and members of the krewe board. Walri float lieutenants are Meg Gerald and Liz Harris.
Krewe Mystique de la Capitale got an early start, hosting its King Cake Party Jan. 4 at the Crowne Plaza. I got there just in time for the crowning of the mock court — the folks who found the baby in their piece of king cake.
Troy Guidry and Londyn Hill reigned as king and queen for the second line. Maids and dukes included Tonya Gaudet, Alison Dazzio, Charlene and Les Hunt, Enrique Osum and Michael Leggio.
Across the hall at the Crowne Plaza, Mayor Kip Holden was hosting his inaugural gala, which was my first stop the evening of Jan. 4. The crowd here was almost as diverse as the one at Laurel Street Palooza — there weren’t any under the age of 21 though.
Trying to get the mayor for a photo was no easy task, everyone wanted a moment with him. And, once I took my photo, I had almost half a dozen folks hand me their iPhones and ask me to take their picture with Kip, who fortunately loves interacting with his constituents.
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