LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -It’s always fun to see someone get a surprise, like this week when two unsuspecting community leaders were bestowed the honors of Lord and Lady of Mardi Gras.
“By the authority vested in me, I have come to honor and name thee Lord Franklin Fondel of the 12th Night Royal Court,” announced the jester at the Mardi Gras Museum.
Lake Charles Deputy Police Chief Fondel was surprised to be named Lord.
”I had no idea until I arrived. I just thought I was coming to assist and help out,” he said.
Over many years, Fondel helped provide security at Mardi Gras balls at the Civic Center. This year is different, but he says: “I want everybody to celebrate in a safe manner where we can come back stronger in 2022 to enjoy Mardi Gras,” he said.
And next, unsuspecting Community Foundation Director Sara McLeod Judson was named Lady of Mardi Gras.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the court of the Mardi Gras Museum,” she said.
Judson says she can’t wait to share with college students from Los Angels, Seattle and Providence, Rhode Island here volunteering with Samaritans Purse to help hurricane recovery.
“It’s really a treat. My daughter, who goes to McGill University in Montreal, has three college friends from all over the country, who have given their time to volunteer for hurricane recovery. Even though it’s not the real experience we’re excited to give them a taste of Southwest Louisiana.”
And Judson says they’re pleased to help support the Mardi Gras museum as they keep the spirit alive.
At last word, the Mardi Gras Museum is not open to the public due to storm damage. But they are sponsoring an art contest. Winners creations will be featured on postcards available at the museum and around Lake Charles. The design is to be on a half sheet of 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper. The deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 3.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau is sponsoring a Mardi Gras float contest.
For more details check their Facebook pages.
Anne Monlezun is spearheading efforts to keep the spirit of Mardi Gras during the pandemic. She is the president of Krewe of Krewes and Mardi Gras Museum and an advisory member of Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana. She says the Krew of Krewes put together the first celebration in 1979 with the first parade in 1980.