February 3, 2007
Reported By: Lee Peck
Saturday morning's train derailment did not stop KPLC's Lee Peck from letting the good times roll. He takes us behind the scenes as one Lake Area krewe prepares for their annual Mardi Gras ball.
If you have never been to a Mardi Gras ball -- you are in for some fun. But to pull an event like this off is a lot of work. Ramona Landry is president of Krewe of Athena -- an all womens krewe comprised of 130 members. The ball is the krewe's biggest party of the year.
"It's a long process. A lot of planning goes into it," said Landry, "but we have so much fun."
From booking the room to the band, there's much to do before this year's royalty makes their grand entrance. "Tonight we are going to be presenting the court. We have duchesses. We do not have a king, it's just duchesses and a queen," said Athena Krewe member Allison Malone.
"All the women get a chance to be queen and duchesses because we draw all the names out of a hat," said Landry.
The glitz and pageantry of it all is somewhat of a mystery to first time guest Connie Grodecki, all the way from Sugarland, Texas. "I'm expecting fun. I'm expecting excitement. I don't know what to expect really," said Grodecki.
She does expect to earn some Mardi Gras beads! "My daughter wants the beads, she says get as many as you can. And that's my goal tonight... Beads!"
Unlike other Mardi Gras balls, this one is not formal -- it's costume according to the theme. This year's theme: "Wide World of Sports."
Over the years Krewe of Athena has gone Greek - donning togas and gladiator style costumes in 2003.
In 2004 they did the Charleston -- taking it back to the bi-gone era of the Roaring Twenties.
In 2005 they went country -- kickin' it up at the chicken ranch. And last year, welcomed gypsies, tramps and thieves. From wigs to make-up -- anything goes. And you expect no less this year.
"We're going as the Cajun Bob Sledders, and we have made our own bob sled out of barrels. We have decorated it with fringe," said Athena Krewe Member Debbie Carlin. "And I understand the Harlem Globetrotters are going to be here and the Cowgirl Kickers are also going to be here to cheer us and get the party rolling."