When the Krewe of Lul decided to bring back its Mardi Gras ball this year to celebrate its 40th anniversary, the response came back loud and clear from an appreciative Luling. “We had a really good turnout … much more participating than we planned,” said organizer Debbie Dufresne Vial.
Instead of the 250 people expected for the event, Vial said the number reached an impressive 450.
The Mardi Gras ball marked an event for the krewe that hadn’t been held since Hurricane Katrina devastated the state of Louisiana in 2005.
Whether the ball will again become a yearly event is still in discussion, although it’s already been agreed that it would highlight the krewe’s milestone years and why it was held this year.
But Vial said it was a welcome return to an event that brought so much revelry and excitement for a community committed to its identity and passion to celebrate Mardi Gras.
“The highlight of the evening was being able to recognize all the past kings and queens and grand marshals,” Vial said.
King and Queen George and Lonnine Adamietz were equally pleased with the gathering.
Vial said the New Orleans band, “No Idea,” with its broad appeal, helped draw a variety of ages to the ball. And the band even commented about the krewe’s love for partying, telling her, “This group is really having fun.”
And these partygoers celebrated.
“The crowd was on the dance floor all night and really having a good time,” she said.
The event was historic in many ways.
The krewe is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and honored its royalty.
Earlier held in the former Esperanza Banquet Room in Luling, this year’s ball was held in the Edward Dufresne Community Center, which was a first for the Krewe of Lul.
“We didn’t know what to expect this year,” Vial said. “This is the first time we’re holding the ball in a venue that could accommodate more than 150 people.”
The transition from the smaller banquet room to the larger community center posed concerns about making the ball attendance look small, but Vial said it worked out fine.
Vial praised the help they got from the St. Charles Parish Department of Parks and Recreation on decorating tips with the community center.
“We were not using it [ball] as a fundraiser for the Krewe of Lul, but just trying to cover the cost. We were able to do that with donations from local businesses and individuals as sponsors, as well as from ticket sales.”
A ball feature that drew compliments throughout the evening was a big screen displaying photographs from past parades.
She added, “Everybody was ready to have a good time and enjoy themselves.”