Romance in Rio: Krewe of the Pearl holds third annual Mardi Gras ball

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The 2017 Krewe of the Pearl King and Queen, Victor and Carmen Leon. Photo by Julia Arenstam

The 2017 Krewe of the Pearl King and Queen, Victor and Carmen Leon.
Photo by Julia Arenstam

Romance was abundant during Saturday’s third annual Krewe of the Pearl Mardi Gras ball in Picayune.

The community gathered to celebrate and honor the 2017 Krewe for its work and involvement in the community.

As the evening began, Beth Lenoir, captain of the Krewe of the Pearl, thanked attendees for their support and hard work to make the night possible and bring New Orleans style Mardi Gras a little closer to home.

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Lenoir introduced the emcee for the night, Dr. Hal Schrock.

After being diagnosed with “stage 4 metastatic liver cancer two years ago, today he stands here next to me without any evidence of any type of cancer,” Lenoir said.

As Schrock took the podium, he said it was wonderful to join everyone to celebrate the outstanding members of the community who were chosen to reign as king and queen.

As the royal members of the Krewe walked down the red carpet, Schrock introduced the 2017 Krewe of the Pearl King and Queen, Victor and Carmen Leon, first. 

Next, he introduced the remaining Krewe members Gina and Raymond Rivero, Tristen Dungan, Michael Wesolowshi, Katie Schubert, Allen Schubert, Lisa Calabresi, Jerry Todd, Melissia and Jose Gutierrez, Jacob Taylor and Marisol Barajas, who took the stage to congratulate their king and queen.

Schrock then recognized founding members of the Krewe of Roses, Virginia Ogden, first Krewe queen and founder of the organization, Bill and Evelyn Edwards, Reba Beebe and Sheriff David Allison, Charleen Schrock escorted by Charlie Nelson, Lynne and Ted Barzé, first king and queen of the Krewe of the Pearl and Christy and Dr. Ed Pinero.

Lenoir thanked the generous people who helped design and plan the festivities.

Lenoir also recognized some of the generous committee members, who were recently honored at the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce’s Awards Banquet. Dr. Debbie Moore was selected as Picayune’s Citizen of the Year, she said. 

“If you have the opportunity to attend just about any community event, you’ll see Dr. Moore there with her entire staff, thank her for her continued support and dedication to our city and it’s citizens,” Lenoir said.

She also recognized committee member Tana Cochran for being named Picayune’s Volunteer of the Year.

“To the Krewe of the Pearl members for months of planning and hard work that brought us to this night, thank you so much,” Lenoir said. “And special thanks to our decorating committee for months of planning and hours upon hours of work to prepare the decorations you see around you.”

Lenoir also thanked Sherri Thigpen, owner of Paul’s Pastry, for donating a plethora of king cakes for the event.

“Thank you so much Mrs. Sherri because it wouldn’t be Mardi Gras in Picayune without your king cakes,” Lenoir said.

The event was catered by El Mariachi Mexican Restaurant, owned by Krewe member Jose Gutierrez.

The Krewe of the Pearl parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Crosby Commons on Saturday.

Lenoir invited everyone to attend a pre-parade party and grand opening of Crackin’ Shells Dippin’ Tails, starting at 11 a.m.

She also asked for volunteers to help walk dogs or bring golf carts to the parade to help the Pearl River County SPCA show off some adoptable pets.

Other events scheduled for the year include the Spring Street Festival in April, and the Dancing with the Relay Stars event in March. Lenoir said over 450 people attended the Dancing with the Relay Stars event last year and raised about $17,000 for cancer research.

“That’s not just a fundraiser, it’s a blast,” she said.

About Julia Arenstam

Staff Writer

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