Fit for Royalty: Photos are clockwise from top:  The Royal Court was presented at the Krewe of the Pearl Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Southern Char Steak House. From left are: Susan Spiers, Dot Pigott, Wynn Hemeter, Mary Frances Mitchell, Queen Ann McDonald, King Steve McDonald, David Hemeter, Ray Mitchell, Buddy McDonald and Woody Spiers.    Photo by Jodi Marze
Fit for Royalty:  The Royal Court was presented at the Krewe of the Pearl Mardi Gras Ball on Saturday, Feb. 8, at Southern Char Steak House. From left are: Susan Spiers, Dot Pigott, Wynn Hemeter, Mary Frances Mitchell, Queen Ann McDonald, King Steve McDonald, David Hemeter, Ray Mitchell, Buddy McDonald and Woody Spiers.
Photo by Jodi Marze

Archived Story

2014 Krewe of the Pearl: Enchantment Under the Sea

Published 7:00am Saturday, February 15, 2014

An enchanted evening under the sea was the theme for the 2014 Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce Mardi Gras Ball held at Southern Char Steak House, Saturday, Feb. 8. The event was emceed by Dr. Hal Mark Schrock and entertainment was provided by Supercharger.

The 2014 King and Queen, Steve and Ann McDonald, along with their Royal Court: Buddy and Suzy McDonald; Woody and Susan Spiers; Ray and Mary Frances Mitchell; David and Wynn Hemeter and John and Dot Pigott, reigned for the evening and will continue their reign for the upcoming year.

They were joined by 2013 Krewe of the Pearl King and Queen, Ted and Lynne Barze’, along with former Krewe of Roses Royalty: King and Queen Cubby and Loretta Ford, Queen Charlene Shrock and Queen Sandra Barker Bolton with her husband Dr. D.L. Bolton.

The McDonalds had a whirlwind two weeks leading up to the ball, which began when a committee with the Royal Decree notified them at their business.

“In the second week of January, they came and told us that we were the 2014 King and Queen for the Krewe of the Pearl,” Ann McDonald said. “We were excited; they came in and brought us a king cake, read a decree, gave us beads. It was great!”

From there the McDonalds had to select their court, get their royal ensembles together and keep it under wraps until the crowning party.

“I had to get my dress and Steve had to get his tux. We had to keep it a secret until we had the crowning party on the 6th of Feb. That was at Crescent Café and it was exciting,” she said. “Last year’s King and Queen, Lynne and Ted Barze’ came and crowned us. Of course our court was there and we were so thankful that they stood with us. We loved every minute of it.”

The venue was decorated in blues, with lights, nets, exotic fish, and shells as well as clear, helium filled balloons that looked like bubbles.

After the toast to the King and Queen, Hannah Walker gave a special performance with Taylor Gregory. They performed a dance choreographed by Lisa Keene and Ashley Briggs of D&L Dance Studio.

The group Supercharger, from Mandeville, La. made their Picayune debut. They posted the following on Facebook, “Crazy time last night with the Krewe of Pearl! They were partying from the moment we started. We met some very nice people and we were honored to be a part of it. On a side note, there were some teenage girls who were singing word for word along with everything we did! Rock ‘n’ Roll is alive and well in Picayune! Thanks for the hospitality and the grand time!”

“The Chamber of Commerce and GPAC worked very well together to present the Mardi Gras Ball for the Krewe of The Pearl,” said Chamber board member and member of the court, John Pigott. “It was a learning experience for a few of us, and it will only get better in the future. I look forward to seeing the ball grow in number and stature in the years to come. It was a pleasure serving in the court of King Steve and Queen Ann McDonald. “

Queen Ann McDonald said that she enjoyed her evening with family and friends and looks forward to the next event for her court, which is the Krewe of the Pearl Mardi Gras Parade, which will ride on Feb. 24.

“We appreciated the hard work that everyone put in to make this event such a grand event to attend. We also want to share how much we appreciated the couples that stood by us on the court. We just appreciated them all accepting and being in it with us,” McDonald said. “We are looking forward to riding in the parade on Feb 24, with our court. We have our beads and can’t wait to ride.”

Even before the parade takes place, the Krewe of Pearl Ball Committee is hard at work planning for the 2015 event.

“The committee, which is comprised of some of the members of the chamber and some of GPAC, has been very receptive to feedback and plans to use ideas from the attendees to grow the event and make it an even better experience next year,” said Chamber board and committee member Beth Stewart Lenoir. “We don’t necessarily want to mimic a Mardi Gras Ball, we want to establish our own traditions and make it an event where the community can come together, fellowship and celebrate the season.”

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