When Bill and Edie Sirmon were announced among the former kings and queens at the Krewe of Lul ball, it was as “the longest reigning king and queen” in the event’s long history. It’s true.
The Sirmons were the krewe’s royalty in 2011, 2012 and 2013 — and their reign was extended by weather.
Never in the 40-year history of the parade had a king or queen seen their chance to ride rained out, until it happened to the Sirmons in 2011.
A year later, it happened again.
“We told them, ‘Hey, you can get someone else to ride this time. We had our chance,’” Bill said. “But they insisted we ride because they had never had a king and queen rained out. Then it was two in a row, and we said the same thing – and so did they.”
Edie said she had just gotten her makeup done for the couple’s prospective first ride when they got the news.
“He was getting dressed, they were gonna pick us up to bring us there, and we got the call it had been cancelled all of a sudden,” Edie said. “All of a sudden, we weren’t going anywhere.”
Friends hosted a party in celebration nonetheless.
The king and queen had friends and family in town for Mardi Gras and to see their ride in person, from Texas, Southwest Louisiana and Florida, to name a few locations.
“Everyone had a great time and it was a great party. It was a wonderful, wonderful time,” she said. “We just didn’t get to ride.”
The Sirmons were content to let someone else ride in 2012, but others with the krewe weren’t having it — they wanted to see the Sirmons have their chance to fulfill a proper reign.
“The rain was even worse,” Edie said with a smile. “It was raining so hard and thundering … we were slopping around in puddles. We say, ‘Okay, that’s it. We’re calling it quits now. We’re going to get a carriage, a convertible … we’re going to ride.’ They said, ‘No. You cannot leave until you ride as king and queen on the float.’”
Others took notice and tried to lend a hand.
“Des Allemands didn’t rain out … the king and queen of their parade called us and asked us to ride in their parade,” Bill said. “And I said ‘No. We’re not gonna reign in your parade. You’re the king and queen over there. We’re not gonna reign in your parade, (even if) we got rain on ours.’”
Added Edie, “It was such a nice gesture. But we’re the king and queen of the Luling parade … we didn’t want to cut into their revelry and their year.”
Finally, in the third year, the Sirmons got their opportunity to ride.
Alongside their float was a sign displaying some tongue-in-cheek humor about the situation. It read, “The Raining King and Queen, Bill and Edie Sirmon.”
“It really fit,” Edie said. “I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to put that sign on the side of our float.”
Both longtime educators, they each said they were able to see, not only friends and family among the crowd, but many former students.
“The biggest fun of it all, you see your grand kids and your kids having fun,” Bill said. “All our friends, probably had even better time as we did. I had such a great time. It was too much fun.”
“It was so exciting,” she said. “We finally got to ride. We had our grandson riding with us. You can see all the preparations and everyone waiting for us. Our kids and grand kids coming up to the float … it was like this ridiculous party. Everybody was so happy.”