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Society / The Seen

The Beautiful Duchesses of Galveston Mardi Gras

The Late Night Partying Spree Begins with a Pirate Flourish

BY // 02.20.17
photography Rhea's Photographic Art

The Texas dip (forehead toward the floor) was de rigueur at The Grand1894 Opera House in Galveston on Saturday night when 25 duchesses met the daunting challenge of the world’s most extreme curtsy as they were presented at the Knights of Momus Coronation Ball. The Knights of Momus revelry kicked off the 10 days of Galveston Mardi Gras.

King Frivolous Lawrence C. Estes Jr. oversaw the colorful presentations and welcomed his queen — Lauren Balentine, a senior at the University of Texas. Galveston’s oldest Mardi Gras krewe followed the “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme both for the presentation and for the ball that followed at the Galveston Island Convention Center.

The latter event, chaired by Jolyn and Russell Scheirman, transported guests to a land where Captain Jack Sparrow would have felt right at home. Pirate ships, cannons, treasure chests, palm trees, profusions of orchids, parrots, pelicans and even a few live monkeys captured the spirit of the night’s theme. In a playful mood, guests donned pirate hats, eye patches, hooks and swords for dancing into the wee morning hours.

Key figures in the festivities included the king’s retinue composed of Reed Estes, Chris Estes, James McLean, Frank Dominquez III, Anthony Brown and Robert Kline, who serves as Knights of Momus president; and Knights of Momus Parade Grand Marshall J.P. Bryan.

Master of Ceremonies KTRK Channel 13 news anchor Tom Koch, accompanied by his wife Brenda, kept the evening moving as the sellout crowd of 850 partied hearty. Among the revelers were V.J. Tramonte, Hayley and Jason Hardcastle, Paige Fertitta, Maria Bush, Peggy and Johnny Listowski, Dancie and Jim Ware, Joan Scheirman, Joan and Doug McLeod, Julie and Kenny Shelton, Jessica and Hal Rochkind and Renee and Scott Rice.

Home, chic home.

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