Your Mardi Gras Kings and Queens
While the world is hearing about Rex, Zulu and Muses, St. Charles is preparing for its own Mardi Gras revelry. Set to roll on Feb. 14 and 15, respectively, the Krewes of Lul and Des Allemands have selected their royalty.
Robert Mahan may have been born in Arkansas, but he came to St. Charles in 1957 and has seen every Krewe of Des Allemands parade since.
“You see why I stuck around?” Mahan smiles as he points to his wife, Berdie, a St. Charles native.
Married for 55 years, the Mahans will ride this year in the Krewe of Des Allemands parade as the king and queen for the first time. The honor was bestowed upon the couple by the Krewe of Des Allemands organizers.
“Of course we were honored to do it,” Berdie said.
But the Des Allemands parade isn’t the only one rolling the weekend before Mardi Gras in St. Charles. Just down the River, the Krewe of Lul will roll with queen Nora Dupont and her husband, king Robert Dupont Sr. Married for 58 years, the couple said they have seen virtually every Krewe of Lul parade.
“We were honored and real surprised-we can’t wait,” Nora said.
Queen Dupont worked as a secretary for the St. Charles Parish School Board in 1978. She transitioned into a position as a secretary with Entergy. She retired in 1994.
King Dupont retired from Union Carbide in 1994. Prior to that, he worked with American Cyanimide. The couple are New Orleans natives, but have lived in Luling since early on.
The couple have three children. Though they live in different areas, the couple said the kids try to make it home as often as time allows for the parades. In addition to their children, the Duponts also have four grandchildren.“We have a daughter flying in from Saudi Arabia, so we’re really excited,” Nora said.
The couples were honored by Parish President V.J. St. Pierre in a ceremony at the Feb. 9 council meeting.
The Mahans plan to change the usual colors of the float, from the traditional purple and green to a white and gold theme. Berdie said, however, that this is the only break from tradition. In the Mahan household, parade preparation has become a real family affair, with the Mahan’s son-in-law designing the scroll that Berdie will throw during the parade.
Both couples have seen virtually all of the parades roll through the places they call home. All of them have seen the parades grow significantly. The Mahans remember when Des Allemands was an American Legion parade, before it turned into the Krewe everyone knows today. Founded more than 40 years ago, the couple said it has grown significantly in their time.
The Duponts said that Lul has also grown in the time they’ve known it.
“I think since the bridge has opened, it’s given people better access to get over here,” Nora said. “It’s gotten bigger every year.”
Regardless of how big or small, the members of the royal court are excited to welcome parade goers both new and old.“Everybody has a good time,” Berdie.
The Krewe of Lul parade will begin at noon on Saturday on Paul Maillard Road at the Winnwood Shopping Center. It will loop through on Sugarhouse, River and Angus roads before finishing where it started.
The Krewe of Des Allemands begins at 1 p.m. on Sunday on Highway 90 and Whitley Road. The parade will cut over to Old Spanish Trail by way of Dejean Street and finish on Whitley Road.