Revelers greeted a sunny Mardi Gras, Feb. 13, with costumes, barbecues, milk punches, bloody Marys, Popeye’s fried chicken and everything else that made this unique New Orleans day their own.
Part of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras tradition are the Rex and Comus balls, when ladies don their long gowns and men their white tie and tails to greet Rex — if they hadn’t already during the parade earlier in the day — the Queen of Carnival, Comus and his queen.
The festivities start at the Rex Ball at the Sheraton Hotel. Once guests were seated, the reception began with the entrance of the Marine Corps Band New Orleans, under the direction of Chief Warrant Officer 2, DeMarius Jackson. The band played a selection of music, including the “Bourbon Street Parade,” by Paul Barbarin; “El Capitan”; “Stars and Stripes Forever”; and the National Anthem.
After a short pause, the Rex captain sounded a whistle, upon which a group of six Rex lieutenants costumed in the traditional green, gold, and purple colors of the Rex Organization (and of Mardi Gras) entered the ballroom, then proceeded to the center of the ballroom floor and split three to each side of the stage. Two costumed trumpeters entered to play their horns to announce the entrance of the King and Queen of Carnival.
To the music of the Rex anthem, “If Ever I Cease To Love,” Rex 2018 and the Queen of Carnival entered: Mr. Lynes R. “Poco” Sloss, escorted by the Rex captain, and the Queen of Carnival, Miss Sarah Jane Holbrook Freeman, escorted by the Rex president, entered the ballroom, followed by their pages Tullis Ritter Gambel and Walter Douglass Goliwas. After a grand march around the ballroom floor, Rex and his Queen went to their throne to greet the Maids of Honor escorted by the Dukes of the Realm: Miss Ellen Ashley Feringa with Mr. Stephen Henry Boh Jr., Miss Catherine Reese Bickham with Mr. David Merrick Lane Jr., Miss Elizabeth Lockwood Atherton with Mr. Frank Mooney Nalty III, Miss Julia Anne Charbonnet with Mr. William Robert McNeal, Miss Bailey Elizabeth Batt with Mr. Edouard James Kock IV, Miss Elise Lockett Clay with Mr. Harold Granberry Tabb III, Miss Jane Talley Hodges with Mr. William Kethley Dossett Jr., and Miss Shelby Jane Ottley White with Mr. Morgan Williams LeCorgne. They were followed by former Kings of Carnival, including Rex 2017, Dr. Stephen Hales, and Rex officials.
Maids who had reigned as queens at other balls earlier in the season were Miss Charbonnet, Krewe of Mystery; Miss Batt, Krewe of Athenians; Miss Hodges, The Atlanteans; and Miss White, Krewe of Osiris.
After the Royal Court was seated, the Rex Organization proceeded with its tradition of presenting medals to visiting…