The Mardi Gras 2009 Ball in Orange honored past kings and queens of the event, which started locally in 2004. Kristin Wise was announced as Miss Mardi Gras by John Gothia; and master of ceremonies Raymond Smith presided over the “Spirit of Carolyn” presentation, honoring event co-founder Carolyn Hogan, who passed away in 2008. Hogan was also the first Orange Mardi Gras queen. 

The “Spirit Award” this year went to Creole Krewe.  Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition performed at the event, hosted once again by VFW Post 2775. 

The festival begins this year at 5 p.m. at the Orange riverfront recreation area off Simmons Drive. Highlights include the Ms. Fat Tuesday contest (guys dressing as girls); rubber duckie races, Munchkin Parade, Gumbo Cookoff and Mardi Gras Parade; and performances by Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, Kelly Joe Cordova and the Whole Shootin’ Match and Brad Huckaby and Danielle Powers. 

The main parade begins on Simmons Drive at 5 p.m. Feb. 14, with Orange Citizen of the Year Mary McKenna as grand marshal. A complete schedule of events follows this article. 

Coordinators for the Monarchs and Memories Ball were: Gwen Smith, Mardi Gras chairwoman; Anna Mathews, Decorations chairwoman; Gary Thibodeaux, Pageant Director chairman; Perry Comeaux, Music and Lighting chairman; Dayle Gunn, Entertainment chairwoman; Kay Mazzola, program director; Pachuca’s, photography; Sherry Hommel, Special Projects chairwoman. Also recognized were Sabrina Gray, Julia Myers and B.J. Hanneman of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, event sponsor.

Friday, Feb. 13:
5 p.m. – ribbon cutting, festival gates open.
5-11 p.m. – midway, vendors open.
4:30-6:30 p.m. – Port Arthur Playboys Band.
5:15 p.m. – Krewes onto grounds.
7 p.m – Kelly Joe Cordova and the Whole Shootin’ Match.
8-11 p.m. – Brad Huckaby and Danielle Powers.

Saturday, Feb. 14:
9 a.m. – gates open.
10-11:30 a.m. – Hunter Tyna Davis.
11 a.m. – Munchkin Parade.
Noon – gumbo judging.
1 p.m. – antique car parade.
2 p.m. – “Rubber Duckie Float on the Sabine; awards ceremony.
5 p.m. – main parade begins.
8-11 p.m. – Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.
11:30 p.m. – gates close.