SWLA Mardi Gras Royal Gala 2011

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lundi Gras was welcomed by the introduction of Southwest Louisiana's newest Mardi Gras royalty. Monday night krewes in the Lake Area presented their kings, queens and royal courts at the annual Royal Gala.

The 12th Night Revelers got the party started ushering in Miss Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana.

Before their curtain call, back stage it was a race against time as crowns were being fitted, costume changes being made and last minute make up being applied.

"We are taking the feathers and putting them in the king and queen's costumes. The more the better," said Diane Elliott.

"It's fun. We enjoy it totally. We just love getting out there and having a good time. And dancing," said Sara Vidrine, Krewe du Grand Bois.

The crowd loves the entertainment. For some families it's become tradition: "This is what we do every year. I love it! My mom is in a krewe and all of my family is in a krewe - so this is what we do. We love it!"

For Krewe de la Fou - it was a take on old Hollywood - they made their own costumes.

"I'm the Queen of Paramount. But I wanted to focus on the leading ladies from the 30s and 40s, because my husband and I love old black and white movies. And so that was the inspiration. He is King of MGM so we went with the leading men from that era," explained Katrina Leckband.

The night's pageantry is something the King and Queen of Krewe of Golden Years won't soon forget.

"Just all of the costumes, the glamour. It feels like you're in Hollywood," said MiMi Hayes.

"Exciting I guess as catching a touchdown pass. This was just as exciting as that. It was fantastic," said Skeeter Hayes.

A unique Mardi Gras experience, as Southwest Louisiana keeps the good times rolling!

"We have been having a blast. Each and every year it's something different, something new. It gets more exciting," said Carolyn Batchan.

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