Neptune Bets the House for 23rd Annual Bal Masque
The Krewe of Neptune entertained more than 900 guests at the Biloxi Grand Theater on Saturday, January 24th, to celebrate its 23rd annual Bal Masque themed “Neptune Bets the House”.
The time-honored tradition of spotlighting the Crest of Neptune brought joyous applause from the formally attired guest who eagerly awaited the return of their rulers of Carnival.
Shouts of joy spread through the audience as Neptune’s gallant officers strode forth in their masked costumes to prepare the subjects for the Royal Court.
The officers: Donnie Griggs, Rick Chatagnier, Bruno Milanese, Jim Hudson, David Reeves, Burt Tremmel, Sr.
Each of Neptune’s line lieutenants then led out their krewes, costumed to depict sights you see on Las Vegas Blvd. The lieutenants and their themes: Cliff Hermes, Jr., ”Taxi Drivers on Las Vegas Blvd”; Burt Tremmel, Jr., “Dealers at the Golden Nugget”; Bill Kulick, “Clowns at the Circus Circus”; Clay Gutierrez, “Cowboys at the Frontier”; Eddie Hungerford, “Leprechauns at Fitzgeralds”; Steve Nelson, “Gondoliers at the Venetian”.
The Court arrives
With the excitement and energy of the RIO casino in Las Vegas, the Captain of the Krewe of Neptune, Paul Arguelles, entered the arena. The captain greeted his guests to prepare for the arrival of the Royal Court.
The audience greeted the Royal Dukes of Neptune personifying the amazing properties on the Las Vegas Strip. The 2004 dukes and their costumes: Steve Givens, “The Aladdin”, of Biloxi; Robert Quin, “Treasure Island”, of Gulfport; Bill Rehman, “The Stratosphere”, of Gulfport; Steve Singleterry, “Caesar’s Palace”, of Biloxi; Jim Graham, “Excalibur”, of Ocean Springs; Doug Blom, “Luxor”, of Biloxi.
The dukes then welcomed the Royal Maids of Neptune personifying the beautiful properties on the Las Vegas strip. The maids, their costumes and their parents: Miss Alexis Michelle Koskan, “The Mirage”, daughter of Alan & Irene Koskan of Waveland; Miss Mindy Lee Aust, “The Paris”, daughter of Ken & Sheila Aust of Scooba, MS; Miss Melissa Renee Reeves, “The Tropicana”, daughter of David & Karen Reeves of Memphis, TN; Miss Jessica Walmsley Harral, “New York New York”, daughter of John & Margie Harral of Gulfport; Miss Courtney Grace Williams, “Bellagio”, daughter of Richard & Faye Williams of Biloxi; Miss Jennifer Carin Breazeale, “Imperial Palace”, daughter of David & Joyce Breazeale of Philadelphia, MS.
The King and Queen enter
The audience rose to its feet with applause as His Royal Majesty King Neptune XXIII, Alvin Austin LeDuke III, of Biloxi, walked onto the stage. His lavish robes depicted “Neptune’s Favorite Gambling Spot – the Mississippi Gulf Coast”.
The Royal Pages to His Majesty were Master Blake Christopher Hayes, son of Caroline & Kenny Davis, of D’Iberville; Miss Kaitlin Leighton Givens, Daughter of Peggy & Steve Givens of Biloxi.
Trumpets sounded the musical fanfare as Her Royal Highness Queen Venus XXIII, Miss Francis Courtenay Hamilton, of Pass Christian, entered the arena to greet her noble King. Her gown and train complemented the King’s with the theme “The Beauty of Mississippi Gulf Coast Casinos”. The Queen is the daughter of Dr. & Mrs. Morris Hamilton, of Pass Christian.
The Royal Pages to Her Majesty were Miss Lacy Jean Lundy, daughter of Ms. Lindsey Lundy, of Gulfport and Miss Kayla Nicole Maniccia, granddaughter of Dr. & Mrs. David Reeves of Long Beach.
Gulfport Seamstress, Mary Boynick, owner of Accent Fabrics in Gulfport, executed the court costumes, using the designs of Rhonda Ballinger. Court Entertainment was provided by the talented Nancy Ward Dancers. Krewe members and guest were entertained by “Noah’s Rain” while enjoying a delicious buffet dinner and dancing.