The theme of the ball was “Carnivalesque du Cirque.” Reigning over the festivities were King Cimmer LVIII, Gregory Alan Jones and Queen Katie Shelton Chiasson.
Jones is the son of Florence Sanders Jones of Crowley and the late Donald Jones. He is the married father of two children, Kyle and Lauren. He is a graduate of Crowley High School, where he participated in football, track and basketball, and is a graduate of Louisiana State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in general studies. He was vice president of First National Bank of Crowley for 18 years. For the past six years he has served as mayor of the city of Crowley, having served prior to that on the Crowley City Council. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church, Crowley Kiwanis Club and Building Officials Association of Louisiana. He serves on the Financial Corp of Louisiana Board, and on the First National Bank Board of Directors. He volunteers in various capacities at track, basketball and football events throughout Crowley. He is a member of the Krewe of Town Revelers, a past Ball Captain and a former page on the court of King Cimmer XV, Dr. Frem Boustany, “Robin Hood.” He was a duke on the court of King Cimmer XL, D.J. Dupuis, “Cimmer’s Exotic Aviary.”
Chiasson is the daughter of the late Marion and Emma Lofton Shelton of Gilbert. She is married to Hines L. “Larry” Chiasson, King Cimmer LIV. They have three children, Chris, married to Rachel Boulet Chiasson; Heather, married to Russell Poe; and Ashley, married to Martin Monceaux. She is grandmother to Mallory, Meghan, C.J., Maggie, Lilli, Tyler, Hailey, Maddye and Sophia. She is a graduate of Gilbert High School and Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM), where she studied office administration and business. She is a former president/CEO of the Crowley Chamber of Commerce and is currently employed as director of business development for Cleco Power where she is a registered lobbyist. She serves on a number of boards and commissions, is a past board member of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and past president of the Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association and the Louisiana Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. She holds membership in numerous business and professional organizations and has served in local, regional, state and national leadership capacities in various community organizations. She was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Regional Leadership EXCEL program. She is a member of the Crowley Rotary Club and St. Michael Catholic Church. As a member of the Crowley Town Club, she was a maid on the court of King Cimmer XLIV, James Dubose, “Carnival Madness,” and is currently the secretary of the Krewe de les Dames.
The greatest show in Crowley began with the presentation of past royalty and the returning 2012 Court of King Cimmer LVII, Charles Scott Schumacher and his Queen, Judy Dill Guillot. The evening was dedicated to the late Donald Amos, King Cimmer XXX; the late Hershel Beard, King Cimmer XXXVII; the late Rita Nicholson, Queen to King Cimmer XXXIII; and the late Richard Seale, King Cimmer XVIII.
Ringmaster and mistress Elliot Doré and Sandi Doré arrived in a circus wagon, followed by the Showstoppers as gypsy dancers who entertained to “Americano.” Ladies wore flowing dresses with ruffled lace trim and corseted bodices. Maroon sashes with sequins and fringe matched the male dancers’ maroon shirts, worn with black trousers and open black vests.
A parade of sideshow characters followed, including a snake charmer, bearded lady, tattooed girl, stilt walker and others.
A clown car brought a dozen clown Revelers to the stage to dance and bestow beads on the crowd. They wore cobalt blue zoot suits with shirts, hats, socks and suspenders of various colors of red, yellow and orange, and red light-up noses.
From the colorful stripes of circus tent awnings, appeared the first members of the court. The court pages were introduced as trick cyclists who sped through the crowd, and lovely tightrope walkers in a graceful display of dexterity. Cyclists Harrison Suire, son of Jay and Laurie Suire, and Joshua Faulk, son of Blane and Brittany Faulk, wore red and blue sequined pants with circular bands of multicolored sequined spandex and blue suspenders, sequined bowler hats and glittered high-top sneakers. Tightrope walkers Rose Landry, daughter of Paul and Donna Landry, and Mary Kate Harrington, daughter of Rett and Mary Beth Harrington, wore sparkling dresses with colorful panels forming an umbrella hemmed skirts, circle banding at the necks and sleeves and small bowler style hats matching their glittering red shoes. They carried matching umbrellas to maintain their delicate balance.
It was in 1790 that the first circus acts were presented to the royal court of Peter III and Catherine the Great. King Cimmer LVIII was every bit as dashing as those monarchs of old, wearing a crimson military style coat featuring shoulder epaulets and gold appliqués enhanced with rhinestones. Gold braid trimmed the mandarin collar and turned back cuffs. A traditional royal French blue sash was adorned with medals, including the ducal worn only by members of the Krewe of Town Revelers, the ducal of the Washington, D.C. Mardi Gras and various pins representing the city of Crowley and personal interests of the king. He wore navy blue trousers with gold braid and rhinestone beading accenting the side seam. His crown featured clear Swarovski crystals set in gold, featuring palatial lines and contours in the style of the Russian monarchs. His mantle of soft gold panne velvet was trimmed in white ermine fur and gold sequined braid. A monogram of silver and gold sequined letters signified the Krewe of Town Revelers, and appliquéd swatches of the fabrics of all court members’ costumes formed a colorful shell design. The year was signified in a red and gold circus emblem. Framing the royal mantle design were draped panels of red and gold lame, reflecting a circus tent.
Queen to King Cimmer LVIII, Katie Shelton Chiasson, was radiant in a gold brocade full ball gown woven with teal and embellished with Swarovski crystal rhinestones. A fitted bodice featured a portrait V-neckline and inserts of teal with jeweled appliqués of gold and a center sunburst brooch. The gown also featured slim set-in sleeves with jewel trimmed peek-a-boo insets of teal matte satin. Her collar featured gold lace panels trimmed in triple slung rhinestone banding, delicately accented with teal satin underlay and hand beading. She wore a crown tiara of gold, featuring aurora borealis stones in a classic scroll design with large oval and round cut accent stones. The custom design featured her initials and the date of her reign. Her scepter complimented the design of her crown. Her mantle was identical in design to that of her King and included the birthstones of her family and fabric from the costumes she and her husband wore as duke and maid of previous courts.
The King, Queen and pages took their places on the royal court stage, which was draped in a kaleidoscope of colors forming the pinnacle of the circus big top. Dukes and maids were then presented as they performed carnival acts of skill and daring to the delight of those present.
First to perform was a knife thrower and his courageous target girl. Duke Larre Franklin “Frankie” Butler II tested the trust of Maid Debbie Libby Gaspard as he tested the accuracy of his aim. They wore matching costumes of vibrant green, orange and purple. He wore knickers of green and black stripes, matching the bodice of her dress. Her skirt featured a petal overlay over a full skirt of graphic swirls of color. Butler is the owner of Cajun Pool Boy and is married to Callie Noble Butler. Gaspard is a mother and grandmother and was married to the late Ronnie L. Gaspard.
The crowd was amazed by the show of strength by Duke Beau Sibley as the carnival strong man, and the high-flying skills of the trapeze artist, Maid Brooklyn Morgan Lowry. The strong man wore an electric green patterned shirt showing his muscular build, a purple belt with jeweled buckle and diamond pattered wrist cuffs. Lowry’s costume featured gracefully flowing scarves attached at her wrists and shoulders to a gleaming purple leotard. Sibley is the offshore division manager at Oilfield Marine Contractors and an independent insurance catastrophe adjuster for Pilot Catastrophe Services. Lowry is a student at ULL studying elementary education and is married to Scott Lowry.
The Showstoppers set the mood for the next act with a rousing country dance to “Here for the Party.” In blue jeans, western shirts, cowboy boots and hats, each couple wore a matching vest and scarf.
From the Wild West Show a trick rider then entered the room to show his skill. Duke Paul Trisler appeared riding a buffalo at full gallop. He wore a full feather headdress and blue sequined “buckskins” with colorful patterned accents and showed his skill with his bow and arrows. Maid Patricia “Roonie” Francois Wilson then showed sharpshooter skills of her own with her gun. In a layered skirt of glittering red, blue and gold, she also wore a red sequined riding jacket and blue western hat. Dr. Trisler is an emergency physician at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and is married to Gina Manual Trisler. Wilson is a mother and homemaker married to David Wilson.
Duke Stefan Diebel rolled in, amazing the crowd as a German wheel walker. Maid Carey David Lawson bent over backward to entertain as a contortionist. He wore a belted jacket of copper trimmed in green, blue sequined hat and jodhpurs. Lawson wore a beautiful jeweled gold headpiece and cuff bracelets, a blue and green one-sleeved body suit with panels of abstract swirls draped with copper sequined spandex. Diebel is an accounting and information technology manager for G&H Seed Company and is married to Kimberly McFarlain Diebel. Lawson is an account manager for Synergy Home Care and is married to Alan Lawson.
Cracking her whip, Maid Judy Dailey Borill performed as animal trainer to Duke C.C. “Charlie” Butler’s “Wild Thing.” She wore a fitted top embellished with geometric sequins of red, gold and black, red split sleeves and a side swept bush hat trimmed in gold. Butler’s Wild Thing wore a coat of shimmering gold under which was a costume of various sequined copper, black and gold fabrics. Borill is a purchasing manager for Carmichael’s Pharmacy and is married to Bryan Borill. Butler is a human resources manager at LEEVAC Shipyards, LLC.
The evening’s final circus act was by far the most explosive. Duke Kevin Spell entered the room loaded into a cannon and Maid Christine Trahan Fulton lit the fuse as a fire breather. Spell wore goggles and a helmet for his flight and a gold rocketeer’s suit with black and red trim. Fulton was hot in fitted black pants a one-shouldered top of black, red and gold with a flowing sleeve and a sequined headpiece. Spell is the owner of Spell House Raising and Leveling, Inc. He is married to Lynn Spell. Fulton is a partner in Falcon Rice Mill, married to Dwayne Fulton.
A musical finale performance of the court was followed by the traditional 2013 Court Promenade, Grand March of the Courts of King Cimmer LVII and King Cimmer LVIII and a toast by Reveler Captain Hank Capel to King Cimmer LVIII and his court.
Special thanks and introductions were then given to the following groups of volunteers. Ball Revelers were Bryan Borill, Dr. Tim Croughan, David Dupuis, Dwayne Fulton, Larry Dubose, Shane Goff, Reece Guillot, Scott Lowry, Danny Nugier, Dr. Ted Reaux, Ronnie Vienne and Larry Spaetgens, ball captain. Also appearing were Revelers Dr. Dale Leleux, Jay Suire, David Swacker and Chris Chiasson.
Entertaining throughout the evening under the direction of Dolores Nutt were the Showstoppers–Hank Capel and Deborah Nutt Whiting, Gerald LeBlanc and Joshlyn Guidry, Chris and Patti Brammer, Gilles and Ruthie Piron, Clayton Dailey and Lisa McNeely, David Wilson and Lisa Dupuis, Kevin and Holly Broussard, Jimmy Broussard and Barbara Schexneyder, and David and Nicole Swacker.
Dancing for the Krewe de les Dames were Ann Sibley, Karen Spaetgens, Tina Hensgens, Tina Reaux, Ramona Credeur, and Judy Capel. Sideshow performers were Chad Monceaux, Ellen Dailey, Kim Diebel, Radona Leonberger, Renee Chastant, Cathy Savant, Casey Vercher, Marlene Thibodeaux, Clayton Dailey, Dwayne Fulton, Belle Leleux, Sandy Comeaux, Becky Lamm, Hank Capel and Tommy McNeely.
Cameo appearances were made by Angie Goff, director of this year’s presentation, Jeremy Patin, assistant director, and Claire Kelbaugh, project manager. Other committee chairs for the ball included Jessica Guillot, general coordinator; Kasey Patin, backstage manager; Nancy Broadhurst, King’s luncheon; Hank Capel, Reveler Captain; Katie Chiasson, publicity advisor; Larry Chiasson, south stage decorations; Court of 2012, foyer and awning; Ellen Dailey, script writer; Kim Diebel, gifts; Scott Lowry, bar; Lisa Dupuis, Reveler costume coordinator; Blane Faulk, music and sound; Shane Goff, prop chairman and video feed; Judy Guillot, costume coordinator; Brittany Faulk, Queen’s luncheon; Judy Guillot/Ladies Krewe, bar/side room decorations; Paul Landry, graphics; Donna Landry, page assistant; Belle Leleux, court make-up; Denise Maddie, Town Club media; Tommy McNeely, royalty; Gary Monceaux, spotlights; Dolores Nutt, entertainment/choreography; Dwayne Petry, photography; Revelers, parade and videography; Karen Spaetgens, court assistant; Laurie Suire, marketing coordinator; Nicole Swacker, T-shirts and financials; Marlene Thibodeaux, 2012 court assistant; Deborah Whiting, entertainment/costumes; Marjorie Wild, publicity; and David Wilson, invitations/reserved tickets.