MARDI GRAS BALLS
While most people think of parades
when they think of Mardi Gras, other traditions continue.
The King and Queen work all year for the big spectacular.
Their identity is a closely guarded secret -- and part of
the mystique -- until the night of the Ball.
Most of the Balls are a formal and private affair for the
Krewe. Debutantes are introduced at the Ball Tableau as a
formal introduction to society. The climbing of the
social ladder starts for the children serving as pages to
the court (this instant royalty stuff has to be done
Women dress in ball gowns and hope to be issued a
"call-out" card. If fortunate enough to receive
one, she is seated in a selected area and waits her turn
to be "called out" for a dance by the Krewe
member that sent the card. A night of dining and dancing
with a prince in formal attire -- what a dream!
Attendance at the older, more aristocratic Balls is by
invitation only. (No one really feels left out if they
don't receive an invitation, though. Lots of folks aren't
invited, including some governors who wanted to attend --
that's Louisiana for you!)
Originally, ball invitations were die-cut and printed in
Paris -- and they continue to be quite colorful and
valuable works of art. These invitations are also
collector's items. These collectors' items are often
framed for their beauty, and are an interesting
The newer parade organizations, such as Orpheus, produce
an indoor extravaganza the night of their parade. This is
a wonderful way to experience Mardi Gras! Everyone
dresses formally, enjoys the parade, entertainment, and
food all night long!
Go back to the Mardi Gras page, or
on to Throws.