BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
Krewe of Apollo Bal Masque XVI Smashing Success
The Baton Rouge Centroplex was the setting for the Krewe of Apollo's
Bal Masque XVI, and it was an excellent production in all respects. The major
credit goes to the two captains, Steve and D.J. Their hard work payed off in a ball spectacular which rivaled all of the previous ones. In fact, this one was a masterful and fast-moving celebration with wonderful and original costumes and music as only a krewe of this type can creatively execute. Las Vegas - eat your heart out!
The captains did their jobs well, but the participants made it all come together. The theme was "Apollo's Treasures," and the costumes represented a wide variety of treasures as Jean Lafitte's pirate ship made its way from the swamps of Louisiana on a journey around the world to find the ultimate treasure. With the able assistance of Ariel and a dynamic set of lieutenants, the journey started with a look at swamps and marshes. It then moved on into the gift of gold, Aladdin's magic lamp, the white tiger, opiates, lapis, sapphire, emeralds, pearls, "Polyester and the Cheap Sisters," oil, the Faberge egg, ivory, the bird of paradise, the Bolshoi Ballet, silk, the Taj Mahal, furs, butterfly and orchid, and finally faith, love, and courage.
The trip was a fantastic one and then the audience was treated to the ultimate treasures. Coming up from the Lost City of Atlantis, King and Queen Apollo XVI made their entrances in grand style. King Damon was costumed in gold and silver, with a backpiece that featured glittering pillars of an ancient Romanesque period. The entire costume was adorned with jewels and gold sea horses, and the crown and scepter were Damon's original designs made from imported Austrian crystal and expertly molded into the finished products as only can be made at Dynasty Collection, Inc. of Mobile, Alabama. Queen Terry was outrageously beautiful in silver and white. The enormous backpiece was adorned with jewels and silver sea horses, and the gown presented the audience with a glittering spectacle as she graciously greeted the kingdom.
The honored guests were then invited to come forth and meet their new royalty, followed by the grand march and open court. Many of the krewes were represented - the Lords of Leather, Krewe of Armeinius, the Royal Order of Unicorn, Krewe of Apollo Shreveport, Krewe of Apollo Birmingham, and many other out-of-staters, organizations and individuals. All in all, it was a wonderful night filled with beauty, humor, and a touch of elegance, as only the wonderful guys of the Krewe of Apollo can present.
I have been asked by King Damon to thank all those who supported him in his time of grief - and his time of happiness. The death of his mother on Friday morning prior to the ball cast a sadness over him, but with the support of his immediate family, he carried through with his presence at the ball and left immediately afterwards for the long drive to DeSoto Parish and a final visit with her. Even though his appearance of grief was noted by many of his close friends, it was the importance and his happiness of the occasion that everyone will remember.
The only negative report I received from the entire event was the fact that the caterers continued to sell drinks while the National Anthem was being played. It was rude, disrespectful, and uncalled for. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. This is America. A little respect never hurt anyone.
Friday night's Captain's Party at the Argosy Landing in Catfish Town was another spectacular event of this fabulous Red Stick weekend. It was one of the best ever, another tribute to those who made this ball such a smashing success. The food was all outstanding, the waiters were exceptionally pleasant, and the band presented a dynamic selection of music.
The Royalty Luncheon was held on Sunday, also at Argosy Landing, and was the culmination of this year's activities for the Krewe of Apollo. It was a time of coming together, a time of remembering, a time of honoring, a time for looking ahead to the future. Richard, our local bar baron, was inducted into Apollo's Hall of Fame, and Damon was chosen as the recipient of the Hal S. Phillips Jr. President's Memorial Award for outstanding service and devotion to the krewe. The new "Daddy" Award went to Larry, the founder of the group, and the very strength behind the continued success of the Baton Rouge Krewe of Apollo.
I also heard all about the wonderful Royalty Dinner at Desiree's held earlier this month. This private function which celebrates the addition of the new royal couple to the elite group was one of the most elegant of its kind. The food was superb, the service was excellent, and the new king and queen were given a royal welcome.
The Krewe of Apollo Baton Rouge, as with most krewes, is unique in all respects. Any organization is successful only because of those who are members and who support the will of the majority. It's called observing democratic principles. Apollo shows this. It is successful because of the continued strength of its members, their desire to reach almost impossible goals, the will to enjoy working together in harmony, and the power to carry on against all obstacles. The meaning of the colors of the rainbow shine through in this group: red for love, orange for unity, yellow for spirit, green for prosperity, blue for healing, and purple for power.
February 1 begins the new year. If you are interested in membership, pick up applications or request information from Four Seasons Flowers and Gifts or Hibiscus Bookstore. There are only a few available openings each year, and you need to get on the list for acceptance soon. All you need is a sponsor, the proper entrance fee, and the will to work. The rest is up to you.
As for me, I can hardly wait for Bal Masque XVII. It should be another great success from Baton Rouge's Krewe of Apollo.
After the ball, participants and guests crowded the local bars. Traditions was packed as well as George's, the Blue Parrot, the Mirror Lounge, and the Hide-A-Way. It was a night to remember, a night to cherish, a treasure of wonderful memories. All of this will be followed up by fantastic Mardi Gras festivities. Check out the ads in this issue of Ambush to see what will be going on in your favorite watering hole.
By the time you read this, the
Royal Order of Unicorn in
Lafayette will have presented the gorgeous Effie Marie as their queen, and that dandy and handsome Doug as their king. I plan to attend and will report on the festivities. This is always a colorful and entertaining ball, and it will be an honor and a privilege to sit at the queen's table. I'll report on it as well as those fabulous Armeinius guys and the leatherites of New Orleans when they show off their balls (smile). I'm house sitting for my friend Edwin, who is taking a trip to the cold Canadian country for rest and relaxation, and to get away from the joyful madness. Rest well, my friend. Take care of that back. You are a valuable asset to our community and to that big newspaper in our Crescent City.
I love Mardi Gras, but I love the
balls the most. My, that sounds
sexy! (smile) Then it will be bead tossing and socializing on the most famous balcony in the world, the one at 828 Bourbon Street, where the Krewe of Queenateenas rule the day. Argentina has their balcony, Washington, D.C. has one or two, Rome has several also, but none can compare to the majesty, the revelry, and the prestige of the one in the historic old French Quarter of New Orleans. Look up guys! And we will look down at all the beautiful sights and sounds of the biggest party in the world.
Have a happy and safe Mardi Gras!