in the spotlight
Volume 23/Issue 3/2005

Carnival Society Celebrates 12th Annual King Cake Queen Coronation of Savanna DeLorean, The Amazon Queen

Carnival society from as far away as Austin, Texas, and Baton Rouge and Hammond, Louisiana, descended on the Ambush complex, in the heart of the historic French Quarter, for the 12th Annual King Cake Queen Coronation in New Orleans. The Krewe of Queenateenas’ presented King Cake Queen XII of Gay Mardi Gras, Savanna DeLorean, as The Amazon Queen, who reigns this year over, Jungles, Jewels & Jocks. The theme sets the tone for the 18th annual Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss on Mardi Gras, Feb. 8, at 2pm. The new queen will lead the festivities from Ambush Headquarters' world famous Bourbon Street Balcony at 828 Bourbon St. For more information visit the Official Gay Mardi Gras Website, GayMardiGras.COM.

The King Cake Queen (KCQ) Coronation kicked off the reign of 2005’s queen with a lavish party hosted in the Ambush offices and private Naquin-Delain residence. And this year’s gala was no exception as 331 guests reveled on Sun., Jan. 23.

Guests were greeted in the receiving line til 8:45pm by The Amazon Queen, Savanna DeLorean and partner Bill Powell, and Queenateenas’ Co-captain’s, Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain, in the first floor offices of Ambush Mag. Here revelers could sample Amazon River Gumbo with crocodile sausage and wild boar, the first featured dish of the evening’s Jungle Wildlife Feast. Guests could make either a beer or wine selection here as well. While there, many first timers to the mansion, could view some of the major works in the Ambush art collection including the massive The Date by Lynn Light and the 4 Faces of Carnival by Robert Baxter. Other works by Michael Landry, Larry Graham, Kevin Butler, Lawrence Gobble, Bob Berniscent and the late Smurf Murphy were also located on this floor, as well as extensive color framed travel photos of Rome, Italy and Athens, Greece, taken by the Naquin-Delain’s. This floor also houses many of the couple’s sculptures both large and small.

From here, guest traveled down the hallway to the tropical patio, both lined with former Carnival balcony sculptures representing various themes over the years.

Once on the stairwell leading to the Naquin-Delain’s private second and third floor residence, the first thing to greet guests is Dos Gatitos, the provocative portrait of the couple by John Sowley. And once past this corner of the stairwell, guests could see the oversize portraits of all of the King Cake Queens, many by renowned photographer Larry Graham. Arriving on the second floor landing, guests were served cocktails at Belle Lain’s Magnolia Bar, where more artwork was on view including provocative works from both Greece and Paris.

Entering the hallway, guests could take refuge in the formal Victorian parlor which features a large work by Brad Dupuy, as well as the couples huge religious collection with a jeweled monstrance from Rome, and numerous icons and statuary from Rome, Italy; Athens, Greece; Barcelona, Spain and Paris, France. Much of the furniture on this floor and the third floor boudoir is from the estate of Marsha’s late grandmother, Sadie Gauthier Martin, of Baton Rouge.

The King Cake Queen Royalty Club celebrated the coronation of King Cake Queen XII of Gay Mardi Gras, Savanna DeLorean at the Ambush complex in New Orleans. (Photo: KCQ IX Lisa Beaumann, KCQ X Teryl-Lynn Foxx, KCQ XII Savanna DeLorean, KCQ Emeritus Jay A. Loomis, KCQ VIII Phyllis Denmark & KCQ XI Ms. L. Ford)

Next stop was the couple’s formal dining room where the rest of the Jungle Wildlife Feast was being served. Guests sampled Rain Forest Parmesan with venison sausage, tri-color peppers and duck sausage; Killer Bee Barbeque with rabbit sausage and baby corn, Monkey Mound, three layer cream cheese torta topped with roasted red pepper pesto; Anaconda Antipasto with both smoked oysters and baby clams, and marinated artichokes, mushrooms, jumbo black olives, jumbo green queen olives and a sweet assortment of carrots, cauliflower and pickles; Parrot Bites, gourmet cheese cubes with Volcano Mustard; and cream cheese filled King Cake by Antoine’s Famous Cakes & Pastries. Wild game was courtesy of the Chaisson Family of Morgan City, and the culinary delights were prepared personally by the Naquin-Delain’s. This room also featured the couple’s rare baby grand piano and numerous art works including one in crystal, one in silver and one in silk by Erte, as well as the couple’s egg collection featuring two rare Faberge’ jeweled eggs set in gold with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Many major pieces in Marsha’s owl collection were on this floor as well. The collection numbers over 600 pieces, and is on all three floors of the mansion.

Although the evening was extremely cold, many guests popped out onto the home’s world famous Bourbon Street balcony, adorned in works prepared by Southern Decadence Grand Marshal Donnie Jay, reflecting the Jungle, Jewels & Jocks theme.

Guests were also allowed access to the couple’s third floor boudoir, where an antique armoire houses the couple’s two ferrets, Buffy and Chris. On this floor were over sized portraits of the couple by renowned Jackson Square artist Brandi Downs done for the couple’s 25th anniversary in 1999, along with the remainder of their religious art collection and personal photos through their 30 years as a couple.

At 9pm, auctioneer and KCQ VIII, Phyllis Denmark, summoned guests to the Ambush offices for The David Egg auction benefiting Buzzy's Boys and Girls. Donated and created by Sylvia Frank and Pat Skelly, top bidder at $700 was Chris Ward and Clint Weber of Pride Specialty, a new company in the Crescent City. Pride Specialty produced the current Ambush t-shirts and this year's King Cake Queen XII coronation cups.

The party was a who’s who of Gay society. Many in the King Cake Queen Royalty Club welcomed the new King Cake Queen including KCQ Emeritus Jay A. Loomis, KCQ VIII Phyllis Denmark, KCQ IX Lisa Beaumann, KCQ X Teryl-Lynn Foxx and KCQ XI Ms. L. Ford.

Other guests included Austin Babtist Women’s Deacon Dave Pearson & Garry Holley (The Widow Modine Murphy) of Austin, Texas, Easter Parade Producer Carl J. Ford, Andy Demark, Queen Armeinius Blanche DeBris, Todd Darst, Double Play’s Chuck Turner & Doc Reed, David Self, Charles Pizzo, Prince Sam & Princesse Stephaney, Krewe of Petronius’ Mae Falgout & Mari Bowlin, Andre Picou & John Cucinello, Janice Medlock, Krewe of Petronius’ Karen Shields, Krewe du Vieux’s Billy Neal, Gar Williams, Ian Smith & Jason Kirkpatrick,

Chris Ward of Pride Specialty is top bidder at $700 for The David Egg held by KCQ XII Savanna DeLorean, benefiting Buzzy's Boys & Girls.

Chris Daigle, John Lee Fitchett, Joe Elkins, Lita Reynolds, Carla Wild, Leonard Earl Johnson, Virginia Campbell, Thom Murray, Krewe of Satyricon’s Gene & Karen Riggleman, John Miller, Henry Tebbe, Carl Ricketts, John Brumfield, GrahamStudioOne.COM’s Larry Graham & Aaron Hanz, Cowpokes' Rex Romans, Church of Christ the Liberator’s Fr. Nicholas Romans, Ray Bates-Romans, Krewe of Armeinius President Bill McCarthy, Krewe of Armeinius Captain BIll McLemore, Michael Strawn & Gerald McCartney of Baton Rouge, Tim Trepagnier & Brian Donnelly, Herb Isaminger & Rob Richards, Society Page's Orlando Aloe, Gar Williams,

Fund For Diversity’s Jerry Scavo & Kenny Walker, Mina Hernandez & Nanette, Latter & Blum’s Mary Lind, Raven Kennedy, Miss Golden Lantern Sasha Kennedy, Blossum, Amon Ra’s Miss America Delta Louise Carter, Phillip Lege, Mihai Mintew, Thomas Centanni, Corner Pocket’s Michael Elias, David Wagner, New Orleans Public Belt Railroad’s Jim Bridger, Mike Sullivan, Krewe of Armeinius’ Ricky Lenart & Tim Jeansonne, Marigny Manor House’s John Crew, Scott Graves, Krewe of Satyricon’s Rick Mirabelli & Armeinius’ Nick Weber,

Red Hanson, Ted Mahaffy, Paul Davis, Richard Hullender, Queen Fashions Electra City (Krewe of Amon Ra Captain) & Tittie Toulouse (Krewe of Amon Ra Ball Lieutenant), Shep Field & Lester Perkins, Ambush theatre critic Brian Sands, Stephen Shilling, Ashlee Logan, Ambush columnist Wally Sherwood, James Mabile, Keith & Michelle Padini, Roy Smith, Nick Olivares, Latter & Blum’s Randy Stephens & Joel Fortner, Equality Louisiana’s Eddie Domingue, Clarence Jackson, Julius Dietze & Thom Behr of Hammond, Josh Chaisson, Glen Miller, Randall Saizan, Diane Tanner, Petunias’ Peter Thomas & Hoyle Byrd, as well as many others.

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