It’s been more than 10 years since the Krewe of Lul had a Mardi Gras ball, but that will change this coming year to highlight its 40th anniversary.
In the summer of 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the area, the annual Mardi Gras ball also became a casualty to the storm’s devastation when it left so many people struggling for normalcy, said parade organizer Debbie Vial.
“We focused on trying to hold the parade in 2016, so the ball didn’t happen,” Vial said. “Insurance skyrocketed. Everyone was trying to recover, and the captains knew the annual parade would bring the community together.”
The parade rolled in 2006 and has happened every year with the exception of two years because of rain.
The 2017 parade will roll Feb. 25 along the traditional route.
Anyone interested in having a float in the parade is invited to attend the first parade organization meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the Ramada Inn in Luling.
In the last couple of years, talk focused on resuming the Mardi Gras celebration, said Vial, who has worked with the Krewe of Lul for nearly 25 years. Her association with the event goes back even further when counting the years she rode in the parade.
The first ball was held in 1996 with Charles and Carol Oubre of Hahnville as the parade’s king and queen, she said. It was a logical move considering Vial’s family owned the Esperanza Banquet Hall at the time, a perfect place to hold this kind of event.
Vial said the parade started rolling in 1978 with no ball, but there were post-parade parties held in the early years at the Ellington Swim Club and Luling Fire Department.
Vernon Higgins of Luling is the parade founder.
“The Krewe of Lul annual parade brings the community together. It is a great family event, too, that locals look forward to annually,” Vial said.
“Although we’re calling it a ball, it won’t be an evening of pomp and circumstance,” Vial said. “It’s going to be an upbeat celebration and we’re going to have some fun to kick off the local Mardi Gras season in St. Charles Parish.”
Vial said the event will begin with a step back in time – a procession of former kings, queens and grand marshals – leading up to the introduction of the 2017 Royalty.
Contributors are needed to help fund the event. Sponsorship levels are Gold, Green, Purple and White. To date the “early bird”
Sponsorships received include:• Gold sponsor: St. Charles Herald-Guide.• Purple sponsors: AM-PM Staffing, Parish President Larry Cochran, Esperanza Investments, Esperanza Land, and Jackie Bee Investments.• White sponsors: Judge Robert Chaisson, Civil Construction Co. and state Rep. Gregory Miller.
To become a sponsor or contribute a door price, contact Debbie Dufresne Vial at (985) 785-6218 or email email@example.com.
Vial said families and friends are encouraged to get a 10-person table for $600, which includes reserved seating. General admission tickets are also available at single, $60, and couple, $125. Each guest will receive two complimentary drink tickets upon arrival the night of the event. A cash bar will be available. Semi-formal-cocktail attire (jacket required) is the dress for the event.
The ball will be held 7 – 11:30 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Edward Dufresne Community Center 274 Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway.Mardi Gras ball tickets are available for purchase at Ramada Hotel, 3889 River Road, Luling. Additionally, tickets will be sold every Thursday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community Center.
The band “No Idea” will provide the music, which is known for its live, energetic and upbeat performances.