About a dozen people gathered recently at the corner of Royal and St. Ann Streets to witness the release of black smoke at the conclusion of the Mystik Krewe du Rue Royale Revelers’ inaugural conclave.
The conclave is held on the third Thursday of each month to deliberate the selection of the krewe’s next Grand Reveler. All Grand Revelers—Jeff Palmquist (GR I), Will Antill (GR II), Felicia Phillips (GR IV), and Frank Perez (GR V)—cloister at Lord of Misrule Frank Perez’ apartment to suggest and debate names for the honored title. Proceedings of the monthly conclave are highly secretive. During the conclave, the building is protected by the Swiss Guard. According to rumor, the vigorous discussion is fueled by copious amounts of alcohol.
After the conclave concludes, the Lord of Misrule and the previous Grand Revelers, along with two Swiss Guard officers, emerge on Perez’s corner balcony overlooking Royal and St. Ann Streets to release either black or white smoke. Black smoke indicates a Grand Reveler has not been selected. White smoke indicates a Grand Reveler has been selected.
Carnival enthusiasts, interested parties, hopeful revelers, and the general public are invited to gather at the corner of St. Ann and Royal Streets during the conclave to await the decision of the Conclave. Anticipants should expect the smoke to be released at 8:45pm. The next conclave takes place on Thursday, July 18.
The revelation of the Grand Reveler is the highlight of krewe’s legendary 12th Night Party, which kicks off the Carnival Season each year. The Mystik Krewe de Rue Royale Revelers was founded in 2013 and held its first 12th Night Party in 2014 at Perez’s home. The first Grand Reveler was crowned in 2015. By 2018, the party had outgrown its humble origins and is now held at various venues in the French Quarter.