New Orleans City Council Recognizes
Southern Decadence Grand Marshals;
Another First at Magnolia Cotillion XXVI
Magnolia Cotillion XXVI marked the annual August 17th anniversary of New Orleans' first registered Domestic Partners, Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain. For the first time, the Naquin-Delain's chose to use the celebration to honor Southern Decadence Grand Marshals' Thom "Smurf" Murphy and Tony Langlinais. City Councilman Troy Carter, District C, had quite a surprise for the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Community of New Orleans when his office phoned to say the Council had issued two proclamation, one for Murphy and one for Langlinais. It is believed to be the first time that the City has officially acknowledged and recognized Southern Decadence, [SD] the annual end of summer celebration held Labor Day Weekend. Last year SD brought in over 70,000 revelers, pumping some $35+ million dollars into the local economy.
The Naquin-Delains presented the proclamations on behalf of the Council. The Proclamations read, "Whereas, the City of New Orleans is renowned for its food, festivals, famous citizens and foreign visitors; and Whereas, the City Council takes great pride in paying tribute to events and activities; now, therefore Be it proclaimed by the City of New Orleans that this Council recognizes: [one in the name of] Thom "Smurf" Murphy [and one in the name of] Tony Langlinais, Southern Decadence Grand Marshal XXVIII, Magnolia Cotillion XXVI, August 17, 2000, In the name of and by the authority vested in the Council of the City of New Orleans," signed by all Council members.
The first Cotillion was held in 1974 when the then Baton Rouge couple, decided to host a party for their anniversary. Over the years these two fun loving men have chosen this public display of affection to celebrate and share their lives with the greater community.
Since 1991, the Naquin-Delains have asked that, in lieu of gifts, guests sponsor Rip in the NO/AIDS Walk each year. In the last nine years, Magnolia Cotillion [MC] has raised $64,787. Since 1993, Rip's pledge total was tops winning the couple a trip to Rome, Athens, Barcelona, Paris, Cancun, and in recent years, Gulf Shores. MC XXVI is expected to raise thousands more for the huge Louisiana AIDS service organization. Monies come in before, during and after the Cotillion up to Walk day, Sept. 24, this year.
"Kaftans & Shorts" was chosen as the unusual theme for the normally dressy affair. The Naquin-Delains said they had been on the formal side for the past 25 years and it was time to be comfortable for the next 25 years. Hostess Marsha chose a Hilmart kaftan made in Morocco which Rip bought for her at the Epcot Center at Gay Day/Disney two years ago. The white kaftan was overlaid in silver, gold and white chiffon embroidered in gold. Old family friend Arthur Severio, of Arthur's House of Glamour [AHOG] surprised all with Marsha's "big hair" and dazzling makeup, many comparing the hostess to Elizabeth Taylor's kaftan years. Host Rip chose comfortable white shorts and gold shirt matching the hostess' ensemble.
Some 359 guests, one of the largest Cotillion's ever, popped into 828 Bourbon Street which houses Ambush offices on the first floor, and the second and third floor residence of the happy couple. It is only one of three times each year that the Ambush compound, an 1800s mansion which also encompasses two slave quarters, the beautiful plant laden patio and the couple's internationally famous, award-winning Bourbon Street balcony, is open to the public. The Ambush Art Collection, as well as the couple's numerous antiques and collectibles are showcased throughout.
The couple greeted guests in the offices on the first floor. Here guests sampled Wasabi flying fish caviar-black olive pie, salmon-dill-green peppercorn pie and blu cheese terrain with walnuts and roasted beef. The two tier almond anniversary cake was also displayed with traditional magnolias prepared by Swiss Confectionery. The beer and wine bar was available here.
Then guests headed upstairs with first stop at Belle Lain's Magnolia Bar on the landing for cocktails. Moving down the hall, guests stopped in the formal parlor filled with Victorian antiques from Marsha's grandmother's estate, as well as other pieces acquired over the years. Further down the hall, guests entered the large dining room, with mahogany antiques and the couple's baby grand piano. Here guests sampled the scrumptious Old N'awlins feast, personally prepared by the Naquin-Delains. The Crawfish Maison is always a hit as is the Shrimp, Artichoke and Feta Antipasto. Gourmet meats, cheeses, fresh fruit and marinated veggies were also available, as well as the South of the Border side table featuring the couple's famous 9-layer delight: guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, green onions, black olives, jalapeno peppers and salsa, all piled on top of a layer of refried beans with smoked sausage, served with white tostados. Guests then went out on the balcony or traveled to the couple's third floor boudoir where they could visit the babies - the couple's ferrets, Prissy, Chris, Sable and Cinnamon or hamster Louise.
Socialites, business owners and old family friends made this soiree one of best the Crescent City has seen. Guests included Petunias' chef Jay Loomis, Tiffany Loomis, Michael Moran, Eddie Fos, Carla Wild, Vivica Devereaux, Miss Gay United States Universe Felina Colby Shane, Salon Millennia's Brenda Laura, Bill Hydrick, Michael Des Jardins & Ozzie Hunter, Marc Anthoni & [Naquin-Delain's sis] "Alexis" Michael Strawn, 735's Tom Frese, SDGM XV Olive, Michael Sullivan, attorney Darleen Jacobs, attorney John Rawls, Jerry Scavo, Kenny Walker, Gaynor Denmark & Ann Kay, Jay Tyburski, SDGM IV Robert Laurent, Oz's Tommy Elias, Ambush columnist Toni Pizanie & Mom Dotty Blanchard, Kay Madary, Ambush news editor/theatre critic George Patterson & Petronius Captain Mickey Gil, Glenn O'Berry & Roger Brooks, Ambush columnist Jon Newlin, Times Picayune society paparazzi Steven Forster, Walter & Evelyn Passero, author Leonard Earl Johnson, Voodoo's Greg Prosser, Washboard Laundry's Beverly Jones, George Rossignol, Entertainer & Transgender of the Year Tonisha Thompson, Christian Kean Johnson, Queen Connie Marcelle, Tommy's Flowers' Tommy Champagne & David Dawson, Ambush columnist Wally Sherwood, Prince Sam & Princess Stephaney, Oz Calendar Boy hostess Lisa Beaumann & Joseph Partlo, Mary Bess Matthews, Latter & Blum's Mary Lind, Carolyn Villars, Margaret Lundin, Brotherhood, Inc's Don Evans & Mark E. Johnson, David Newsome & Dwight Thaggard, Barbara Satterley, Dorothy Hebron, Drake Higgonbotham, Second Skin Leather's Scott Garrett, Venture-N's Bobby Roudreaux, Bobby Ambrose & John Parry, Society Page's Orlando Aloe, French Quarter Accommodation Service & Country Club's Kurt Tande, attorney Ron Clayton, NO/AIDS Task Force Executive Director Noel Twilbeck & Glen Kahrman, Faubourg Marigny Book's Alan Robinson, Phyllis Denmark, Walter Wolf, Glenn Stubbleaeld, August Smith, Graham Studio One's Larry Graham & Aaron Hanz, Ambush columnist Brian Sands, Doug Postels, Galen Brown & Liz Talbott, Lance's Pub & Dance Pavilion's Lance & Carl Ford, Peter Drago, Clarence Jackson, Royal Barracks' Blake Bascle, Le Roundup's Mark & Collette Ambrose, MCC of Greater New Orleans' pastor Dexter Brecht, Petunias Peter Thomas & Hoyle Byrd, Miss Clikque America Teryl-Lynn Foxx & Carlos Butler, MRB's Lori Mitchell, SDGM XIII Michael "Fish" Hickerson, Le Roundup's George Simons & Roger, James Curley Baudoin, Maurice Geisel, Steven Guercio, Diane Tanner, Christopher Rusk, House of Blue's Laura Tennyson, Walter Doucet, and Al Shea.
Visit www.ripandmarsha.com for more on Magnolia Cotillion.
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