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(Rick Hickman / American Press)

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

Krewes celebrate with Royal Gala

Last Modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 2:03 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

Krewe des Feteurs member Gail Stephens has been involved with Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana for 17 years.

“We love it. It’s the best thing in Southwest Louisiana that I can think of,” Stephens said.

Krewe des Feteurs were dressed up in Venetian costumes Monday night at the Royal Gala.

“Every year we choose a new theme,” Stephens said. “The Gala is the most special day to me during Mardi Gras because we get to show off the whole court. Tonight and tomorrow is the highlight. I love the Krewe of Krewes parade, too.”

Stephens joined more than 60 other krewes in a promenade of lavish costumes. Kings and queens, dukes and duchesses, captains, courtesans, and jesters were at the Civic Center in full museum quality costumes.

There was music and dancing and about 3,000 residents and tourists at the Gala, said Craig Guillory, chairman of the Gala.

“It has become a basic routine for me,” said Guillory, who has been chairman for seven years. “I’ve been around Mardi Gras Southwest for more than 23 years.”

Guillory said the event is always exciting with this year’s costumes ranging from 3 ft. to 16 ft. tall.

Angel Mefford was celebrating 25 years with Krewe des Lunatiques, along with her husband and two daughters.

“We celebrated our 25 years by inviting all past royalty,” Mefford said. “This represents Southwest Louisiana and it’s just fun.”

Thomas Mefford said he enjoys celebrating the occaision with his family each year.

“The parades are family-friendly,” he said. “That’s what sets us apart from other Mardi Gras celebrations in the state.”

DeRidder-native Marceliers Scott, with the Krewe De Pini de Beauregard, said he has been apart of Mardi Gras SWLA since 2010 and participates with his wife.

“The fun and the comradery that we have among krewe members is what makes me want to come back,” Scott said.

Tracey Guillory, of Sulphur, is a member of Krewe of Good Times, which has only been in existence for two years.

“This is our second year to participate and our first court,” Guillory said.

It is all about family and tradition, parades and fun. The krewe, which had a Hollywood theme, consists of families from Sulphur, DeQuincy and Vinton.

“We are all about the movie stars, the glitz and the glamour,” Guillory said.

Katrina Leckband, of Moss Bluff, has been in the Krewe of Trouble for two years but was in another krewe for more than seven years.

“We’re mischievous and like to have a good time,” Leckband said.

She said she would rather ride in a parade than be at the parade.“Once you experience riding in a parade you don’t ever want to be in the crowd again,” Leckband said. “It’s a blast throwing beads to everybody. Our krewe has become a family.”

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